The troutification of Cressy

Article image - The troutification of Cressy

By identifying a theme that typifies their town and reflects the community’s fishing village history, Northern Midlands Council has built an identity and pride in Cressy.

Cressy is a small rural Tasmanian town that until 2003 was known as little else than the ‘gateway to trout fishing paradise’. Its streetscape was stark, littered with bleak power poles, vacant shops and rundown features. In late 2003, some enthusiastic Cressy residents approached Northern Midlands Council for assistance to attract more tourists to their town.

Council had allocated $60,000 for the redevelopment of the town’s toilet block and decided to seek additional funding to transform it into a trout themed centerpiece.

Tasmanian Community Funding of $24,000 was successfully ‘hooked’.

The troutified toilet captured the imagination of the local community and developed support for the continuation of the troutifying theme.

The community, supported by a creative artist, commenced the town’s troutification in early 2004. Regional Partnerships funding of $42,000 was used to troutify street signage, the local swimming pool and cenotaph walls, power pole features and seating.

In August 2005, Cressy put on the Tasmanian Trout Expo to attract even more people to the area. Over 12,000 people visited the town to enter the Expo’s fishing competition at the local and nationally renowned trout fishing waters, Brumbys Creek, as well as visit the Expo exhibits, displays, demonstrations, fishy fashion parade, chef’s cooking sessions and interactive bug activities on show at the school. Local school students learnt new skills in planning and putting in place various components of the Expo.

Along with transforming the visual appearance of the town, the troutification has given residents and school students renewed pride in their town and the opportunity to showcase it nationally. Media coverage of the Expo was extensive, including a two hour live ABC radio broadcast, television coverage and 60 Minutes coverage. Cressy has benefited economically from the increased visitor numbers and associated increase dollar spend at local businesses.

This project took out the National Award for Innovation at the National Awards for Local Government 2005 and the 2005 National Local Government Award for Strong, Resilient Rural Communities.

For further information contact Lorraine Green, Northern Midland’s Economic and Community Development Officer, on (03) 6397 7315.