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Country Week 2005 Brings Immediate Results
Ndarala Group Media Release: 18 August 2005
Country Week 2005 has been an outstanding success according to Ndarala CEO Jim Belshaw, justifying the Group's continued sponsorship of the event.
The three-day Expo held at the Rosehill Gardens Event Centre attracted thousands of people from all over the Sydney basin, with numbers up 14 per cent from the previous year.
Country Week convenor Peter Bailey said that exhibitors receive strong inquiries from people wanting to move to country areas as well as strong inquiry from business owners wanting to either establish businesses in country areas or extend their existing operations.
"One man, a sand blaster, and his wife, a registered nurse, have already accepted jobs at Moree and have arranged accommodation", Mr Bailey said. "A mechanical engineer and his wife, a qualified accountant, will be moving to Tamworth."
Mr Bailey's positive views were shared by exhibitors.
Bland Shire Council's Economic Development Officer, Fiona Last reported that the Shire had received hundreds of general enquiries from people wanting to move to the country. Attendees were particularly interested in the affordable cost of residential properties and commercial land on offer in West Wyalong.
"Questions also centred on the large number of employment opportunities available in the Bland Shire, particularly with the Cowal Gold Project" stated Ms Last. "Barrick Gold has already received a number of enquires since the Expo seeking employment at the mine."
Gunnedah, for example, had a team of 10 locals including the Mayor, Councillor Gae Swain, Councillor Adam Marshall, real estate agents, Gunnedah District Development Board representatives and Council stafft on hand to discuss the advantages of moving to Gunnedah .
"Last year's experience", Gunnedah Shire Council's Manager Economic Development and Tourism, Chris Frend said, "enabled us to be more discerning in our approach to people, the evaluation of their needs and the preparation of information about Gunnedah."
"Availability of jobs and real estate is uppermost in people's minds, so we had specific information on the employment mix and job vacancies in the Shire as well as agents on hand to discuss real estate options."
Approximately 350 people made contact with staff at the Gunnedah display with 88 recorded as firm prospects for follow up.
"We're optimistic about this year's expo as last year's expo was 15% smaller and we ended up with two families moving to town within twelve months", Mr Frend concluded.
Other areas were also well prepared.
According to Country Week's John McFarlane, the Tamworth region contingent had been able to tell visitors there were vacancies in the region for 84 professional people, skilled trades men and women and other workers. As well, there were 33 vacancies for apprentices and all of the vacancies represented "immediate start" opportunities for the right people.
Oberon was another area that was well prepared with its message "Relocate without loosing touch."
"We gave out over 1000 packs of information to people, and spoke to over 500 people who were genuinely interested in relocating...this was double what we did last year", Oberon co-ordinator Wayne Cooper said. "About 350 people registered with Oberon to receive more information about the area."
"We also had lots of repeat visitors from last year, and found there is a much better awareness of where Oberon is located compared to last year, which shows the work being done to promote Oberon is working."
Ndarala's Belshaw noted that the pattern of repeat visits was common.
"I met one couple", Mr Belshaw said "who had come to Country Week in 2004 and had now narrowed their relocation choice down to Tamworth or Taree. They came again as part of their final choice process."
"Area investments in promotions such as Country Week must be sustained and focused if they are to be succesful", Mr Belshaw concluded.
For further information contact Jim Belshaw on firstname.lastname@example.org
For related stories see:
July 2005: "It's Serious Business." Sydney business people are invited to join representatives from 60 regional areas at breakfast to discuss the business opportunities offered by non-metro NSW. Story.
July 2005: State Chamber of Commerce (NSW) supports Country Week. Announcing this support, Chamber CEO Margy Osmond urged businesses throughout Sydney to seriously look at what is on offer through Country Week. Story.
April 2005: Ndarala sponsors Country Week 2005, a high intensity promotion intended to persuade people living in Sydney to consider opportunities elsewhere in NSW for work, business, lifestyle, education or retirement. This sponsorship follows the Group's sponsorship of the very successful 2004 event. Story.
August 2004: First Ndarala sponsored NSW Country Week great success. Story. Exhibitors praise Expo. Story. For background on Country Week and the reasons for Group involvement see story of December 2003.
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