MOYNE Shire Council will spend about $24,000 on a trip to the Middle East to spruik the delights of Port Fairy for an international award.
The town is Australia’s only finalist in the LivCom Awards for the world’s most liveable communities with populations of less than 20,000.
Chief executive David Madden, the mayor and a community ambassador will fly to Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates to present a case at the awards conference in November.
It is estimated the bill for their travel and associated expenses will total $15,500 and another $9000 will be needed for material to support the bid.
The shire sent an extensive entry submission in June and tentatively made provision for the travel costs in its new budget.
Mr Madden told yesterday’s council meeting that costs for preparing support material would come from the tourism and marketing budget as the information could also be used for local marketing.
“Some community members may not see the value in the bid costs, but we believe the marketing of Port Fairy and Moyne will provide great value,” he said.
“Even as a finalist we will be able to market Port Fairy.
“Our achievement to date is already worth marketing and it can only get better from here,” he said. “Reinforcement of Port Fairy as a special place is a major part of Moyne’s tourism strategy.”
Cr James Purcell said the trip would also be an opportunity to promote trade opportunities for the Moyne region.
“It would be worth contacting our major industries such as Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, Murray Goulburn and Midfield,” he said. “No doubt all the other finalists will be working hard to win so it’s imperative for the mayor and chief executive to represent us.” Cr Colin Ryan said selection in the dozen finalists was a major achievement and Cr Jill Parker said the number of people who contributed to the submission was impressive.
In the precede, Mr Madden summed up community pride in the town with the words of one resident “we’re in heaven here and we know it”. The submission describes Port Fairy as “the state’s most popular tourist destination”.
It describes arts, culture and heritage, strategic planning, community participation, lifestyle and efforts to protect heritage and the environment.
The LivCom Awards, initiated in 1997 and endorsed by the United Nations promote and reward sustainable development, quality of life and environmental best practice in communities based on international benchmarks.