Katherine Times 22/02/2022 | Samantha Campbell
Residents can share their ideas on how to market the Big Rivers in a new survey aimed to attract and grow the region’s population.
The Big Rivers Regional Reconstruction Committee in conjunction with the Northern Territory Government has released a survey to obtain feedback to develop a place brand identity that reflects the unique character of the Big Rivers region.
BRRRC chairperson Alison Ross said this project was a key priority of the Big Rivers Regional Reconstruction Committee to attract people and grow the population.
“It’s just one project amongst many that we’re working on with the Northern Territory Government to grow our population,” Ms Ross said.
“We’re also looking at the ‘liveability’ of the region; what services, facilities and spaces would make the region a more attractive place to live.
“We know housing is big issue so it’s important that we balance population attraction with a well-informed approach to increasing housing supply and improving affordability.”
The survey was conducted by Circulanation, a Katherine-based consultancy business, and funded by the Northern Territory Government Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet.
With a regional brand identity, Ms Ross said they could market the region to attract those relocating from the city, visitors and new businesses to town.
“A regional brand identity is a unifying cultural expression developed by the people who live – or have lived- in the region. It defines the culture of our people, our place and what makes us unique,” she said.
“We can use our uniqueness to attract people, visitors and new business to town. We want people from across Australia to know we are here and that we have significant opportunity to offer, especially jobs, career growth and an amazing lifestyle.
“People are leaving the cities and moving to regional Australia. We need to market the region to attract people to move here. We’re competing with the rest of regional Australia.”
Ms Ross hoped by addressing issues like housing, and attracting people to the region, it could curb the staffing shortages that many industries are facing.
“We’re completing this work with the Northern Territory Government in support of our local businesses who are experiencing severe worker shortages. Our regional brand will allow us to market our region; to showcase what we have to offer and to provide people the opportunity to connect with us, to move here, bring their families and become part of our community,” she said.
“We’re creating a regional brand to be able to market ourselves. The Big Rivers Region is experiencing significant economic activity across key industry sectors. We have a multibillion dollar pipeline of major projects and investment which means there will be more job opportunities and a bigger strain on our workforce.
“The region has become known for its stable, diverse economy which is attracting significant private investment interest. Our housing marketing is booming and we have one of the best rental yields in Australia.”
“People that live in the Big Rivers Region genuinely are so proud to live here. They want to see the region grow, to see achieve its full potential,” she said.
“Some of the responses to the survey spoke to the incredible access to the rugged, untapped natural environment where every weekend provides a real sense of adventure. The diverse and welcoming community that feels like family was also repeatedly mentioned.
“People told us they moved here for work opportunities from big cities and that they found a place that really feels like home. They told us you need to have a resilience; a ‘territory toughness’ and an open mindedness to live here.
“For some, the region provides an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone, to be able to explore a place that makes you feel alive and to find an endurance you didn’t know you had. They said they found who they were living here.”
Once the marketing material is established, it will be shared across the region.
“We want the rest of the region to be able to use the marketing materials as well, so we’re all on the same page, promoting the same amazing opportunities the region brings.
“We want to save business time and money in not having to produce individual marketing materials.”
The BRRRC is also seeking community feedback through a ‘Livability Survey’ to provide information on the services and facilities in the region.
It was launched on social media on Monday February 21 2022.