Thursday, September 14, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Attracting, expanding, and supporting regional events in the Whitsunday region has been a key focus of Council.
I regularly meet with our Economic Development team to explore every opportunity to entice new events and explore how Council can better support existing events to allow them to grow their events further.
The Don River Dash that was held over the weekend in Bowen is a perfect example of a relatively new event that has grown in popularity since being first staged in 2019.
This adrenaline packed spectator friendly event with cars and motorbikes racing on the bed of the Bowen River is now recognised as the pinnacle of off-road racing on Australia’s east coast.
This year the organisers accepted over 350 open competitor entries and crowds of over 5000 spectators turned out for the two days of racing action.
The exciting news is that Council’s Economic Development team have run the Economy ID calculator and the direct flow-on into the Whitsunday region’s economy is over $7 million.
This is a real feather in the cap for the organisers and volunteers of this event and an amazing economic boost for our region.
I am proud that Whitsunday Regional Council has backed the event since it started, and this financially assisted with $25,000 in-kind support to assist the organisers as they continue to expand and grow the event further.
The Don River Dash is a prime platform to showcase the beauty of Bowen and the Whitsundays to a domestic and international audience by attracting motorsport enthusiasts.
I am confident that this event will become a hallmark event for our unique part of the world and add another bow to making the Whitsunday a great place to visit.
Congratulations also to the Whitsunday Running Club for staging another successful Whitsunday Trail Festival in Airlie Beach on Sunday.
A strong field of locals and visiting runners of all ages competed along the scenic Conway Ranges in categories from the Kids Beach Bash, Honeyeater 10.5km Challenge to the ultimate 58km challenge.
Events like these and the successful White on Whitehaven Long Lunches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday provide national and international exposure for the Whitsundays and enhance our reputation as one of Australia’s premium tourism destinations.