REAL DEAL: Barnacles Dolphin Centre is no Seaworld, but maybe that is not such a bad thing.
REAL DEAL: Barnacles Dolphin Centre is no Seaworld, but maybe that is not such a bad thing.

5 things you might not like about Gympie's future

A NEW tourism discussion paper is bound to be successful in at least one way, following its public release by Gympie Regional Council.

It is bound to generate plenty of discussion.

Many of its proposals will be widely, even enthusiastically supported, but others less so. Some seem likely to generate real resentment.

For example:

1. It advocates removing vegetation from the banks of the Mary River to create vantage points for visitors, even though a lot of that vegetation is essential for protecting the river banks from erosion.

2. As part of its proposal to "revitalise" Mary St, it calls for more uniform "heritage signage" and the removal of "all non-heritage exterior signage, billboards and rooftop signage" and "commitment to a consistent heritage-based colour scheme."

3. It calls for dual signage of regional landmarks to reflect Aboriginal culture, but claims Tin Can Bay's uniquely folksy dolphin feeding institution, an authentic remnant of Aboriginal fishing traditions in the area, is too down market.

"Those paid experiences that are available are tired, have relatively passive exhibits and charge a nominal entry fee (eg Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum, WoodWorks Museum, Barnacles Dolphin Centre," the discussion paper claims.

4. While recognising the important economic contribution of businesses like Nestle and Carter Holt Harvey (and recommending tourist tours of Nestle), it also says Gympie's southern approaches are marred by industrial steam plumes such as those generated by those industries.

5. We make too much use of our CBD footpaths for dining and display of goods (as was once said to be a good thing that modern communities should adopt), although it does seem to argue that this is mainly because of the state of those footpaths. "Shop merchandise (and diners) often spill out on to footpaths which are uneven and patchy," it says.

The discussion paper also seems to suggest that too many people visit Gympie to see family and friends and therefore do not need to spend money on accommodation.

Much of the region's accommodation is affordable and clean, but not luxurious enough to attract big spending tourists.

The discussion paper is available online and at Gympie Library and will be refined after initial public comment before being re-issued in the New Year for a final round of public consultation.