Going for gold

Three Councils’ Olympic dream

In the 2001 National Innovation Awards in Local Government in the Business and Regional Development category, three Councils, Cabonne, Orange and Blayney, were the Rural Winner for their ‘Ophir Gold 2000 – Our Olympic Dream’ project.

The region is where the first payable gold discovery in Australia was made in 1851, at Summer Hill Creek, Ophir.With this great historical fact undertow, the Councils decided to capitalise on this to promote the Orange, Cabonne and Blayney areas by coming up with a project to provide gold for the 2000 Olympic Games.

A budget of $30,000 was funded from the community, small business, Local Government and the corporate sector. However, the Project’s greatest resource was the people, with over 25,000 people supporting the project. A strategic marketing plan was developed that involved key identities, association with the Sydney Olympics and community participation.

“The result was over $10 million worth of national and international publicity, some 500 newspaper articles, and a 40 per cent increase in tourism,” said Cabonne Council, Chief Executive Officer, Graeme Fleming.

As well as this, some $300,000 was collected in fundraising, the Councils were presented with both the Olympic and Paralympic medals, and the area’s place in history was confirmed.

“What we hope to do now is use the success of the Project in promoting the area, and leveraging off our association with the 2000 Olympic games,” Graeme Fleming said.

For further information contact Graeme Fleming on (02) 6392 3200.