Residents need to ‘sell’ Bunbury

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury City Council pumps cash into marketing the city.
Camera IconBunbury City Council pumps cash into marketing the city. Credit: Kate Fielding / South Western Times

Bunbury’s chief executive has called on residents to be ambassadors for the city as the Bunbury City Council pumps cash into promotion and marketing.

The 2019-20 budget adopted by the council last week includes a number of marketing initiatives for the city, including plans for a $400,000 electronic billboard entry statement along Forrest Highway.

During a budget outlook breakfast last week when questions were raised about what the council was doing to promote Bunbury, chief executive Mal Osborne responded with a passionate appeal for residents to also play their part.

Mr Osborne referred to comments on social media and the adverse effects some remarks could be having on the city.

Mayor Gary Brennan echoed Mr Osborne’s views, telling the Bunbury Herald it was “terribly important” for the city’s residents to be ambassadors.

“It’s really important for people who live here to be advocates of our city, it should come naturally,” Mr Brennan said.

It comes as a number of marketing and promotion projects feature in the council’s latest financials, including $710,000 for the implementation of a CBD Action Plan and design for a cultural precinct.

Another $1.3 million has been allocated to conduct tourism promotion and corporate marketing activities and support and market externally run events.

The council will again put money towards event grants with $254,000 put aside and a further $152,000 to secure sporting events through its partnership with Sports Marketing Australia.

The city’s landscaping, parks, gardens and entry statements will also get $874,000, which includes the new billboard.

Mr Brennan said the location of the billboard would depend on the Bunbury Outer Ring Road northern alignment as the council waits on a response from the Premier Mark McGowan over its concerns about the proposed design.

“The location of that will be pretty important,” Mr Brennan said.

“The city has embraced smart city concepts and we’re going to continue to do that.

“We’ll gradually shift more and more away from hard copies and fixed information boards to more of an interactive engagement.”

He said promotion and marketing of Bunbury was just one element of how the council could improve the CBD.

The other was “hard infrastructure” with landscaping works planned in the coming weeks.

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