Published: 27 November 2018

SPECIAL INTEREST MATTERS Tuesday 20 November, 2018

Ms  FORREST  (Murchison) - Mr President, the Wynyard Tulip Festival is held annually to celebrate spring, and the amazing colour of our Wynyard landscape continues to go from strength to strength.  This bold display of colour is the highlight for people travelling to and from Wynyard airport as they fly over Table Cape and see the amazing display from the air.  The success and growth of this festival is in no small part pretty much down to one person - Chantelle French, the Community and Events Officer at Waratah-Wynyard Council.

Chantelle does an incredible job organising and coordinating this event and is supported by almost 50 volunteers on the day.  I know and commend all these volunteers, many of whom work for the Waratah-Wynyard Council and local service clubs, because a festival such as this could not continue without their selfless contribution. 

The Wynyard Tulip Festival is now in its twenty-eighth year.  It is held in Gutteridge Gardens on the banks of the Inglis River, a truly beautiful location.  In recent years, the festival has grown and spilled further onto the surrounding streets and wharf areas.  Wynyard comes alive in the weeks leading up to the festival with visitors from around the state, interstate and overseas coming to see the fields of tulips and experience the festival.

I live on the road to the tulip farm on Table Cape and on festival day there was a constant stream of traffic that did not stop all day.  In fact, to get out the driveway you had to have someone let you in.  This is a little narrow road leading up to the cape.  It is also very busy on days before and after the festival.  It was quite amazing to see the number of cars going up and down the hill.

I also acknowledge the hard work done by the Roberts-Thomson family who run the tulip farm.  They host a number of events during the festival and during this period, supporting the arts and the festival. 

The festival remains a fun-filled day for everyone.  Keeping this a free event has seen the festival grow over the last eight years.  This aspect is seen as a major drawcard.

This year the festival attracted at least 20 000 people; it had 38 food stalls, 25 craft stalls, eight beer and wine stalls, four roving acts and 14 entertainment events for children.  Eight corporate and community groups were involved.  The crowd was entertained all day, with seven talented performances on the main stage, finishing with fireworks at 9 p.m.  Local radio station 7BU broadcast live from the festival, promoting what was happening all day.  I am not sure if they provided traffic updates but the number of cars turning off the Bass Highway into Wynyard in both directions was amazing and something that people were commenting on for days.

Another benefit of Wynyard having a flat rather than hilly streetscape is that the festival is very accessible.  Wynyard has possibly one of the highest mobility scooter - affectionally known as a gopher - use per population, if not in the whole state, then certainly in the region.

Mrs Hiscutt - Did they have the gopher race?

Ms  FORREST  - The festival runs a gopher race down the main street each year.  It is always hotly contested, a real highlight of the day and a favourite with the crowds.  Sometimes they run out of puff on the way down.  It is slightly downhill, so that does assist.  There is very fierce competition.  There was even a concern expressed by some of the competitors this year that some were not perhaps compliant.  It is a really great event.

Another highlight was the very popular offering of helicopter rides over Table Cape and Boat Harbour.  Tasmanian Helicopters provided scenic flights which were in such high demand that this year they brought in an extra helicopter.

The Colour Run attracted over 200 participants from around the state, and you could easily identify the participants following this fun event.

The economic benefit to the town is significant, over $1 million, with all accommodation booked out around the town and businesses reporting an increase in spending.  This has created a real benefit for local businesses and brings a vibrancy and pride into this beautiful town.

This festival has grown significantly and it was great to see so many people out enjoying themselves, with many food and beverage options.  The activities for children were spread right across the area; there was great entertainment and stalls selling local produce.

The festival design, in spreading activities and food stalls across more than one area, also made it easy for access and for people to get around with not everything being crowded into one location.

Mr President, I sincerely commend Chantelle French for the incredible job she has done, and is doing, in creating this great event and economic driver for Wynyard.  I also acknowledge and thank the Waratah-Wynyard Council and all those who served as volunteers.  The success of this event would not be possible without such a great combined effort.


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