Fraser Coast mayoral candidate Chris Loft. Photo: Jocelyn Watts / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Fraser Coast mayoral candidate Chris Loft. Photo: Jocelyn Watts / Fraser Coast Chronicle Jocelyn Watts

The Mayor's plans to bring fly in fly out to the region

THIS week we got the great news, which the Chronicle picked up on, about the wotif research which said Maryborough was above Noosa in terms of growth for the number of visitor bookings and enquiries for Easter this year.

The world is finally starting to see the incredible history Maryborough has to offer and this is only set to increase with our new FCTE working on promoting the many amazing events, sites and attractions this great region has to offer.

Last week I attended a regional community airports conference in Sydney to learn about how we can grow our airports and capitalise on one of the biggest economic opportunities since the mining boom ended.

Whilst the networking and meetings were extremely productive, we all commented on the insanity that is the Sydney lifestyle. Constant traffic, alarms, millions of people crammed into such small spaces and prices of run down, very mediocre properties are well over $1 million dollars. It is almost impossible for young families to afford to buy a property and keep up with living costs so they are stuck on a never-ending treadmill of working just to survive. The true rat race, and what I describe as hell when there is a better lifestyle available here on the Fraser Coast. FIFO was sadly an opportunity we missed out on during the mining boom but there is a new FIFO to take advantage of.

The corporate world is starting to embrace the FIFO idea and in places like Ballina there is hundreds of people every week catching flights to Sydney during the week to work but living in regional Australia where the cost of living and lifestyle is far more attractive.

As a council we are in the envious position of owning two airports with huge potential.

After our two-day conference attended by myself and Cr Truscott we have come back very excited about the potential of using the Hervey Bay airport as a FIFO for corporate workers to be able to work in the major cities and earn the big bucks but come back to the Fraser Coast to spend their money and raise their families. Hervey Bay airport has not been utilised to its full potential but we are now ready to 'use what we have' and make this asset a great earner for the ratepayers.

'Why live in hell, when you can live in paradise?" is the strategy I want to use in targeting these people with images, videos and testimonials of people living here showcasing our amazing region and highlighting why people living in hell can and should buy property and build their lives here in paradise.

An idea for the Maryborough airport is to utilise it as a place for training and also private airplane owners to live and enjoy their hobby of flying. We already have the facilities and now we just need to come up with more ideas to capitalise on these assets.

Send your local councillor your ideas or send them direct to me so we can put together a plan that has the community behind it and working toward a common goal of making 'The Family Friendly Fraser Coast' the envy of all regional councils around the country.

It's time for the Fraser Coast to fly!



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