Call to put Cassowary Coast on the map literally
Innisfail’s Chamber of Commerce is calling on the Cassowary Coast Regional Council to fast-track the place name of Cassowary Coast being legally established, saying a failure to act now will stifle jobs growth and put at risk the region’s ability to develop economically.
Innisfail District Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Tourism (IDCCIT) President, Mr Ron Donges, said having Cassowary Coast formally acknowledged as a Place Name by the Minister for Natural Resources will result in profound benefits for our region and Innisfail as its key economic centre.
“Cassowary Coast will then be recognised on maps, atlases, road signs, and by all government agencies. People will be able to find us anywhere in the world using Google, Trip Advisor and all those other navigation apps and tools people use today”, said Mr Donges.
“Visitors driving to our region will see Cassowary Coast on road signs on all our major highways because once the Minister approves the place name, road signs have to be changed and also official websites, maps, etc., that currently do not identify Cassowary Coast as existing at all.”
“Today if you google the distance from Cairns to Cassowary Coast, you are pointed 30 kms out to sea”, said Mr Donges (see image). “Being recognised is a natural next step for our region.”
“Our consultations so far with business leaders and key groups have been very supportive of this move”, said Mr Donges, who added people are quick to see the benefits in terms of our identity and how organisations can market themselves using social media the internet.”
“Businesses the length and breadth of the Cassowary Coast want and need exposure to advertise accommodation, food, services, you name it”, said Mr Donges. “Currently for anything from an electrician to a plumber to accommodation, if you are looking online you have to search town by town. When Google updates to Cassowary Coast, all of a sudden you can search for businesses on the ‘Cassowary Coast’ and get a much wider range of responses.”
“In contrast to this, the world wild water rafting championships at Tully next year will not be recognised as a Cassowary Coast event internationally because we aren’t on the maps literally”, Mr Donges pointed out. “What benefit is marketing this or any other internationally significant event as ‘Cassowary Coast’ if the place doesn’t exist to promote outside the region? How does this help create jobs and economic growth for the whole area?
“I am sure the Council recognises this however, what we are consistently seeing is an administrative focus on creating plans and strategies behind the scenes, while people actually doing work that leads to real outcomes, seems thin on the ground or non-existent.”
“The place name process is quite simple and straight forward, so we are calling on the Council to make this a priority issue and get the job done”. It is no good doing all these good deeds to promote events for the Cassowary Coast, when the “Cassowary Coast” does not actually exist as an identity on any map or google search. We need to cement the building blocks for this region first to then support the growth initiatives that the CCRC have already communicated in press releases recently.
“Currently with the Cassowary Coast, we struggle to be seen as more than a string of coastal towns and this can lead to an inevitable power struggle to be the economic centre, or complaints if one town is seen as getting favourable treatment over another.”
Mr Donges finished by commenting that the economic downside of not acting now means that outside centres could continue to grow with the towns of the Cassowary Coast eventually becoming feeder districts to those centres, adding ‘this is unthinkable and unacceptable”.