Swan Hill Rural City Council, Vic, for Pioneer Settlement Redevelopment—Heartbeat of the Murray—Transcript

[Music plays and text appears: National Awards for Local Government. Pioneer Settlement Redevelopment—Heartbeat of the Murray, Swan Hill Rural City Council, VIC, Contributing to Regional Growth. Category Winner]

[Image changes to show a sign on a fence ‘Heartbeat of the Murray’]

So our project is the Pioneer Settlement Redevelopment. In 2006, about ten, eleven years ago, council essentially looked at the Pioneer Settlement.

[Image changes to show the different attractions within the Pioneer Settlement and then moves to show Adam McSwain, Pioneer Settlement Redevelopment—Heartbeat of the Murray, Swan Hill Rural City Council, VIC, seated and talking to the camera]

It had decreasing visitation, it had an increasing cost to council, and I guess just generally it had a decreasing interest, and was an aging asset. So what council did was look at that and do some community consultation to say to the community, is the Pioneer Settlements something that you think we need to continue with?

[Image changes to show a vintage train and then changes to show two women dressed in olden day clothes]

The Pioneer Settlement itself is fully council run, so we have a department that sits in council that operate the Pioneer Settlement.

[Image has changed back to show Adam seated and talking to the camera]

So it is all internally operated. We had funding from federal government, state government, we also had partnerships with the Murray Region group of councils.

[Different images of the attractions at the Pioneer Settlement flash by on screen and then moves back to show Adam seated and talking to the camera]

At its peak we were probably getting upwards of 100,000 visitors every year. Probably for the ten, 15 years leading up to I guess the decision point when the consultation was made, it had decreased by 50 percent.

[Different images of the attractions at the Pioneer Settlement flash by on screen and then moves back to show Adam seated and talking to the camera]

So it was worked through across the entire municipality, it wasn't just Swan Hill. It was about a variety of public meetings, sort of traditional town hall style meetings.

[Image changes to show four people standing and holding a development map and then moves back to show Adam seated and talking to the camera]

Not as much online probably back then, but more fliers, promotion, councillors talking to people, decisions through council meetings, so a variety of mechanisms—talking to actual visitors to the Pioneer Settlement itself.

[Image changes to show different pictures of a light show]

What we're hoping for, or what we're aiming for, and what the business case has projected, is in the initial year we'll attract an additional 20,000 visitors. So through the first four, five months, we're certainly on target to meet that. In future years, hopefully we'll grow that even further.

[Image has changed back to show Adam seated and talking to the camera]

So I think it's just great to be able to show to staff some reward for effort, and say this isn't just a project that we're saying is special, this is something that across the nation, no one else is doing. A national award that is coming from a panel, well regarded panel, it's competing against a lot of other projects. So to be able to show to people that the work they've done is really terrific has been very well received.

[Music plays and text appears: National Awards for Local Government. Pioneer Settlement Redevelopment—Heartbeat of the Murray, Swan Hill Rural City Council, VIC, Contributing to Regional Growth. Category Winner]

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Last Updated: 27 June, 2016