Golden milestone for Outback Festival

Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe at the Open Air Picture Show in Winton with Outback Festival Coordinator Robyn Stephens OAM, Geraldine Coughlan from Winton Movies ink and Outback Queensland Tourism Association CEO Denise Brown.

Thousands of visitors are soaking up Queensland’s great Outback lifestyle and waltzing to Winton for this weekend’s 50th anniversary celebration of the Outback Festival.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said for half a century the Outback Festival had supported more good Outback Queensland jobs.

“From bush poetry, opal and fossil fossicking to family-friendly events, the Outback Festival celebrates the spirit and wide-open spaces of Queensland’s backyard,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“The iconic Outback Festival in Winton contributes more than $1 million to the visitor economy which supports local businesses and jobs.

“Organisers have put on a special, 50th anniversary celebration to mark the Outback Festival’s milestone and Winton’s recent win at the Australian Top Tiny Tourism Town Awards.

“Events like the Outback Festival give Queenslanders and interstate visitors more opportunities to share our State’s great Outback lifestyle.

“Tourism in Outback Queensland supports 4,000 good jobs.

“Up to 868,000 visitors traveled to Outback Queensland in the year to March 2022 and generated $569 million for the visitor economy.

“That’s why the Palaszczuk Government is backing the Outback Festival through our Queensland Destination Events Program.

“Queensland’s green and gold runway to the 2032 Games is delivering two decades of golden opportunity to encourage more Australians and international visitors to explore unique Outback experiences.

“Planning for the $20 million Queensland Music Trails program is also underway to position Outback Queensland as a music festival destination ahead of the 2032 Games.” Winton Mayor Gavin Baskett said the Outback Festival has been an integral part of the community since 1972. “The festival has grown and evolved over the last 50 years and should be a bucket list item for travelers as it’s truly an outback experience,” the Mayor said.

“Speaking as a previous small business owner, the week of the festival was the busiest time in the shop and it’s a great boost leading into the long off season when tourist numbers are low.

“It’s an extraordinary effort by the committee members, both previous and current, to continue to grow the festival – and it is great to see visitors and the old locals return to Winton to catch up with friends and family.”

Outback Festival Coordinator, Robyn Stephens OAM said, “The very first Winton Outback Festival was launched back from small beginnings in 1972, an idea originally conceived by locals out of years of devastating drought with the desire of our local community to put Winton on the map. “Fast forward to 2022 and our popular biennial event has drawn thousands of visitors from across Australia and overseas to Winton every second year.

“With the celebrations taking place in the school holidays, it’s a great way for families to come explore Queensland’s big backyard and see why Winton has been named Queensland’s Top Tiny Tourism Town in 2022”.

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