It’s almost a cliche around here but it was another big week in the North West.
Cloncurry was the centre of the action for the Outback Queensland Tourism Association annual conference and awards.
The town was packed for the three days of the conference with every room in town booked out and I bumped into many of the delegates earlier in the day on Saturday having a good time at the Cloncurry Derby Day races.
Others meanwhile were out kayaking and bushwalking at Chinaman Creek Dam while there was also a sunset soiree at the lookout the night before.
There was no doubt Cloncurry had put its best foot forward for the weekend and it was lovely to see the old shire hall with its marvellous polished floorboards looking shipshape for the awards night on Saturday.
The awards nights were a celebration of the best that outback Queensland has to offer in tourism and the awards themselves were evenly distributed around the region.
McKinlay Shire Council was one of the stars of the night, picking up two awards for their destination marketing and support for local tourism and a third for the Julia Creek visitor centre. It was a great start for Mayor Belinda Murphy who becomes the new chair of the Association.
There were plenty of smiles on Richmond faces too, with Jodi Leigh Fox from Kronosaurus Korner awarded the Young Achiever’s Award for her contribution to the industry, Lakeview Caravan Park taking out the Caravan & Holiday Park award and Kronosaurus Korner winning the tourist attraction category.
Congratulations also to perennial over-achievers, the Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo, who won the festival/events category and the late Butch Lenton would be smiling in heaven as the Winton Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum won the Major Tourist Attraction award for the most people through its doors.
It was a great night and in a stellar year, I congratulate Cloncurry Shire Council for putting on yet another top event – Derek Barry