Staff from Benalla Rural City Council volunteered to spend last weekend enticing city-dwellers looking for a tree change at this year’s Regional Living Expo, which ran from Friday 11 to Sunday 13 April, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Staff, including the CEO Tony McIlroy, handed out information packs and colourful postcards to invite potential visitors and new residents to “be amazed” at all the municipality has to offer. They spruiked Benalla’s business opportunities, jobs, education and housing at an event where more than 130 exhibitors attend, attracting thousands of visitors, many of whom are looking for a career or lifestyle change away from Metropolitan Melbourne.
“We were able to talk to many people about how great it is to live in Benalla Rural City,” said Mr McIlroy. “We had much information to distribute about our community and its facilities.”
Volunteers donned stylish t-shirts to promote the Benalla Nude 2014 $50,000 art prize and exhibition, and cushions branded with Benalla Nude on the seating at Benalla’s stand provided an effective conversation-starter.
“This event last year attracted 10,000 people looking for a different lifestyle than that offered by metro areas,” said Mayor Cr Barbara Alexander, who attended on the Friday.
“This is a marvellous opportunity to let people know about what’s on offer in Benalla. It isn’t just our great facilities like the Benalla Art Gallery, the Aquatic Centre and Community Care Centre, it’s the health and social services, the retail sector and the range of education available as well as affordable housing that make Benalla Rural City such a desirable location to live,” she said. “It is also a great place to set up a business with many supporting industries around. We really are a one-stop shop for anyone’s lifestyle and business needs.”
The Regional Living Expo will be followed up by a Regional Open Day on Saturday 24 May, when interested people will be able to enjoy a personal tour of the Rural City’s facilities, before heading out to Bailey’s Winery, Winton Wetlands and/or the classic cars at Winton Motor Raceway.
“I’m encouraging anyone from Benalla who knows someone in metropolitan Melbourne who is looking to get away from the bustle of city life to register for our Regional Open Day and see what it is that makes living in Benalla so good,” Cr Alexander said.
People can register by calling the Economic Development and Tourism team on (03) 5760 2600 or visiting www.liveworkinvest.com.au.
The Regional Living Expo is an initiative of the State Government, promoting the benefits of living in regional Victoria.
Image: l-r Benalla Rural City Council CEO Tony McIlroy, Premier Dennis Napthine, Economic Development Officer Catherine MacMillan, Manager Community Development Jane Archbold.