Bunbury sees $12 million boost with events

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Sports Marketing Australia has helped lure events such as Nitro Circus to Bunbury. Donnybrook’s Josh Sheehan in full flight at last year’s event.
Camera IconSports Marketing Australia has helped lure events such as Nitro Circus to Bunbury. Donnybrook’s Josh Sheehan in full flight at last year’s event. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

Bunbury City Council will look to bump up its budget allocation to get iconic events to the city after it saw more than $12 million in returns on investment last year alone.

The Bunbury Events Advisory Group has requested the council increases its annual budget and signs on Sports Marketing Australia for another three years saying the city could be missing out on hosting additional events.

In 2016, the council entered into a three-year contract with the sports marketing organisation worth $70,000 a year.

The organisation has helped lure events such as the BMX National Championships, Nitro Circus and Volley by the Bay to Bunbury.

According to the council, the BMX championships pumped more than $5.9 million back into the economy following just $30,000 in council contributions.

Volley by the Bay resulted in a $1.8 million return with just $25,500 in outlay and December’s School Sport U12 National Cricket Championships saw $1.7 million from an $11,000 contribution.

The figures are based on Tourism Research Australia’s economic benefit calculations for “sports tourists”.

Responding to whether he thought the $12 million figure was accurate, Mayor Gary Brennan said it was based on credible calculations.

“Even in you halve that, for the outlay the city made to assist with those various events coming to Bunbury, it’s a pretty impressive return on investment,” Mr Brennan said.

Accommodation, transport, meals, entertainment and support services are areas identified for the spending.

The council will next week be recommended to increase its allocation to $100,000 a year and enter into a further three-year contract.

Tourism Western Australia has also indicated to the council that it was supportive of the partnership and believed it to be a great economic and social benefit to the city.

Mr Brennan said he had not heard any arguments from the council against strengthening the partnership.

“It’s obviously highly successful, it gives a very, very solid return on investment,” he said.

“The community of Bunbury fund that and in return the service community of Bunbury receives a direct benefit through the spend.

“Also, the rest of the community receive a benefit by having State and National class events held in our city and that also gives a boost to the various sports involved in our city and also to spectators.

“We have now built a solid reputation for having – not only the sporting facilities like the playing fields or South West Sports Centre or the beautiful Back Beach and Koombana Bay for triathlon and sailing events etc. – we’re also growing in recognition as a great place to visit.

“Hopefully that will spin out into having more investment in our city and perhaps attracting people to come and want to live here.”

Scheduled events for this year already include next month’s 2019 Champions League Basketball three-on-three tournament and the return of Volley by the Bay.

Sports Marketing Australia is also negotiating further events for the council.

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