BRIGHT IDEA: Council’s new idea to boost sunflower tourism/safety
Sunflowers are one of the Southern Downs’ biggest tourism drawcards but the balance between safety and selfies has always been an elusive one.
Now council believes they could have a solution on their hands with plans to introduce a movable viewing platform.
Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said the economic “knock on affect” of the selfie destination was undeniable and he wanted council to build the experience without detriment to farmers.
“Sunflowers are another string in the bow so to speak, but we’re very conscious there are some downsides to it,” he said.
“It’s great to get a photo and all those things but not so great to walk into a producer’s paddocks.
“Biosecurity comes into play, keeping them safe from transport, cars. It’s a balance between that and also giving them an opportunity to make that photo memory.”
It comes as the sunflower season dies down for summer on the back of several complaints concerning safety and farmer privacy.
According to him, the platform would have to move in order to keep up with the uncertainty of which paddocks the flowers would be grown in from year to year.
“We would be working in conjunction with landholders,” he said.
“But I’ve seen people standing on the bonnets of their cars to get that photo so it’s definitely something to consider.”
Mayor Pennisi said suggestions for a ‘sunflower festival’ had also been raised by council for the future.
“When people stop for sunflowers they buy a coffee, they buy fuel, they decide to stay an extra night, or the photo they post online entices someone else to come out,” he said.
“Everyone benefits from the tourism.
“We’re the capital of events so why not add another event to the bow?”