By Rozzi Smith, Editor
Question? Is Cabonne ready? Well, yes and no!
Yes, because the wineries, foods and orchards located close together in Nashdale, Canobolas and Borenore – are forging ahead – forming a perfect tourist trail.
Add the remaining 11 towns and villages of Cabonne Country and the signs are there for regional tourism growth. Is the wider Cabonne ready? Maybe! Is Cabonne Council ready? I would have to say ‘no’! However, the tourist market is ready for Cabonne Country.
From long-time observation – I see that Cabonne Council is being ‘pushed and shoved into tourism by the very fact that ‘it is happening’ in Cabonne Country and the current and potential operators need Council support. However, with the major role of providing the 3R’s (roads, rates and rubbish) Council budgets are understandably more focussed on infrastructure development i.e. roads, transport, water … to name but a few.
Tourism? Economic Development? Community Development? Small Business Development and Growth? Small Towns Growth? Whilst these are all critical areas for the future and growth of Cabonne Country the current budget and staffing allocations provided by Cabonne Council/NSW State Government and Fed. Governments are totally inadequate. As a region – we need Cabonne Council to get out there and ‘lobby, lobby and lobby’ for the right kind of government $’s (and corporate sponsorship) to build our region i.e. Cabonne Country.
Whilst the Barilaro/Nationals move to secure regional funding from the current NSW State Government has had some success – it is nowhere near the kind of $$’s
being spent in the city on infrastructure improvements e.g. roads, freeways, highways, light rail, stadiums, housing, and the list goes on. From real estate stamp duties, alone the NSW Government is in a strong financial position. They need to give more of these $$$’s to the building of regions like Cabonne Country.
The time is now for Cabonne Council to hop to it – take on a stronger leadership role – and build their business in order to be of any value to the 11 towns and villages across Cabonne.
Forming the Orange Region Tourism partnership between Cabonne, Orange City Council, and Blayney Council is a step in the right direction. However, unless each of the councils focus on the positives and the outcomes which can be achieved through this kind of regional approach – we may fail, once again on an industry
sector full of dynamic people/tourism-business operators who are almost begging Council for it to happen!
I would like to see Cabonne Council take on more ‘ownership’ of the Orange Region Tourism initiative- and seize the lead role. It’s a little bit like the small business saying – referring to a dog sled – “the leader sets the pace, sees the new horizon first, is the first to arrive at a new destination. What do the rest of the team see?You’ve got it!”