Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders says more work needs to be done on Maryborough's tourism industry.
Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders says more work needs to be done on Maryborough's tourism industry. Contributed

‘We’re not ready’: How to make M’boro a tourism hotspot

MARYBOROUGH’S charms are undeniable but when it comes to being a tourism hotspot, the Heritage City has more work to do.

That’s the view of Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders, who said he understood why Hervey Bay’s beaches and whale watching wonders were favoured in tourism campaigns like the State Government’s Queensland, You’re Good to Go.

A 30-second Good to Go social media video promoting the Fraser Coast dedicates just two seconds to Maryborough, featuring the town crier outside the Criterion Hotel, and a shot of the city’s courthouse.

“We do get tourists here but we’ve got a lot more work to do for our tourism industry,” Mr Saunders said.

“We’re moving forward. It’s not where we want it to be but we’re working on it.”

Projects like the Gallipoli to Armistice memorial and Story Bank, as well as the historical appeal of the city’s Portside Precinct were having an impact but change was slow, he said.

“I’ve spoken to tourism people and they say, “Maryborough? You’re an industrial city, aren’t you?’ That’s the perception,” Mr Saunders said.

“We’ve got a lot of people who are proud to tell our history.

“When you look around at our wharf precinct and the Story Bank, people are taking pride in it.”

Unveiling of the Duncan Chapman memorial in Queens Park, Maryborough. His great nephew John Chapman with project mgr. Robert Chan and Nancy Bates, driving force behind the memorial.Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Unveiling of the Duncan Chapman memorial in Queens Park, Maryborough. His great nephew John Chapman with project mgr. Robert Chan and Nancy Bates, driving force behind the memorial.Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Mr Saunders praised “visionaries” like community advocate and former Chronicle editor, Nancy Bates, for making change happen in Maryborough.

“Nancy is an inspiration for the city. She’s got a vision,” he said.

“That’s something for many years we lacked in our community. We’re getting visionaries.”

He said the Divine Dunnies idea, spearheaded by Mrs Bates, had his full support.

The proposal is to turn the public toilets near Maryborough City Hall into a quirky tourist attraction, complete with artwork and floral arrangements.

A Divine Dunnies committee has been formed as a subcommittee of the Maryborough Progress Association.

BOTTOM LINE: Divine Dunnies committee members outside the entrance to the toilets they intend to transform. From left, Kylie Nitz, Jacqui Elson-Green, Tom Hagan, Lisa Hunt, Nancy Bates, Nan Ott, Greig Bolderrow and
BOTTOM LINE: Divine Dunnies committee members outside the entrance to the toilets they intend to transform. From left, Kylie Nitz, Jacqui Elson-Green, Tom Hagan, Lisa Hunt, Nancy Bates, Nan Ott, Greig Bolderrow and "flower lady" Carmel Murdoch who will explore options for supplying fresh flowers to the women's section.

Along with Mrs Bates, the committee features well-known Maryborough identities Kylie Nitz, Tom Hagan, Nan Ott, Jacqui Elson-Green, Lisa Hunt, Greig Bolderrow (pictured at top) and Carmel Murdoch.

“When you look at the Divine Dunnies, it’s a huge thing around the world. Why not for Maryborough?” Mr Saunders said.

Mr Saunders also threw his support behind the plan to build a boardwalk stretching from the Brolga Theatre to Granville Bridge.

He said the project would not just benefit visitors but locals, who could enjoy the scenery at home.

“We will attract the tourists here once we get the word out,” Mr Saunders said.



Professor who helped shape Coast uni retires

Premium Content Professor who helped shape Coast uni retires

See why he wanted the Fraser Coast to have a campus

Read everything for just $1 a week for first 12 weeks

Premium Content Read everything for just $1 a week for first 12 weeks

Deal gives you access to local, regional and metro News sites

EDITORIAL: VP’s pandemic perspective, troubling truth

Premium Content EDITORIAL: VP’s pandemic perspective, troubling truth

The pandemic should of course be taken seriously and rules obeyed for the sake of...