Farmers reactions to council’s ‘sunflower tourism solution’
An interesting council solution to growing Southern Downs sunflower tourism has received a mixed reception from the producers it concerns most.
According to Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi, council was considering options to enhance ‘sunflower selfies’ through a portable viewing platform.
While sunflower growers were genuinely receptive to the approach, they wondered why more signage hadn’t been council’s first step.
Allora farmer David Peters said he had hoped council would be able to supply signage free of cost to growers.
“I think council does need to consult a little with the growers but I think it’s a good thing as long as it’s all managed,” he said.
“Still the main thing is signage, it is available there for council to adopt, it just needs or someone to print them out.”
He said tourists trespassing not only harmed crops but put visitor’s wellbeing in danger.
“We keep our crops back off the road for that simple reason,” Mr Peters said.
“Not only is the biosecurity a big concern but also any complications if someone gets injured, if there’s a crack in the ground or they’re stung by a bee.”
Willowvale grower Lisa Crothers said she had also heard of signs being created, but hadn’t seen any yet.
She too supported any measure to stop tourists “tumbling into paddocks”.
“I mean in general most respect it, but we grow them for an income not for tourism,” she said.
“They sort of think of it as a parkland, like ‘oh look there’s a big paddock owned by the park’.
“The reality is this is our life.
“At least this is growing forward in a positive way.”
Council had also suggested the idea of a future ‘sunflower festival’.