State support vital

Our mighty Murray River.

In times where the use of the word “iconic” is bandied about for any old thing, this is one example of where it fits perfectly.

It is no wonder then that the river has been at the heart of so many tourism campaigns over the years.

It is a thing of beauty and it is most obviously one of the most vital parts of our continent’s ecosystems (so important that national debate continues unabated on the issue of environmental flows and water rights).

For untold numbers of people it is the fond memories of evening swims decades ago during childhood or for continuing family holidays at the many picturesque locations along its length.

It is for these and so many other reasons that the river will continue to be a key part of campaigns to get tourists to pay a visit, though of course there are many other attractions in our beautiful region.

And for all that it would mean that any council in the region and far beyond would be crazy not to recognise that through supporting a united effort to promote these attractions in the most effective way possible.

Albury Council certainly has not hesitated to lead from the front, with its planning and development committing recommending it continue to show strong support for Murray Regional Tourism.

That would result in the organisation receiving almost $140,000 from the council over three years.

This commitment is seen by Albury as very much a no-brainer. As Mayor Kevin Mack pointed out this week, “we get great value out of this proposition” to spend  $43 million over four years in a major overhaul of the way the region is sold to people.

Clearly that faith is shared by many others. Councils on both sides of the border, along the whole stretch of the river.

What could be key though to ensuring the group’s maximum effectiveness is having all possible partners on board.

In particular, the respective state governments have the financial clout to be able to make a real difference.

The Victorians need to be applauded for already having guaranteed its contribution of $340,000 until 2019-20.

It is crucial that their NSW counterparts do the same. The benefit of doing so will be in the tourism dollars spent right across the Murray region.