Buy Local campaign just what Wellington's retail sector needs

There is absolutely no doubt that there has never been a time where Council has focussed more on retailers and tourism operators as much as now.

Our Ignite Program is starting to show dividends in both Wellington and Dubbo. There is also a new optimism within the Wellington community about the future of retail trade in the area. Added to that, new improvements to sporting and community facilities have given the community a buzz of excitement that despite the drought, has made locals excited for the town’s future. 

However it could be said that more needs to be done for retail promotion focussing on Wellington individually, not just our whole of region approach we have taken since the amalgamation with Dubbo.

In recent times Jess Gough, the secretary to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce and Jespresso Cafe operator, has been lobbying me intensely about commencing a Buy Local in Wellington advertising and promotion campaign. Jess is certainly a great convincer and as such I have asked Councillors to form a taskforce of Council and the Chamber of Commerce that will put together a Buy Local campaign in the lead up to Christmas.

Drought conditions have seen a significant change in the way that money is moving around regional economies. Whilst Dubbo is benefitting from the visitation spend, as an outcome of marketing and tourism development activity, Wellington in particular has taken a hit in overall consumer spending, with a fall of -6.20% in overall consumer spend comparing FY2018 to FY2019.

Council’s data on spending has shown that whilst some areas of consumer spending have remained stable, such as dining and entertainment businesses, which as a collective in 2019 increased by 0.4 per cent, some have increased their economic throughput such as trades and contractors increasing by 103.1 per cent, and others have taken a fall such as those in traditional retail trades, clothing and department type stores falling by over 45 per cent.

Anecdotally, the last 10 years has seen Wellington lose a number of vitally important retailers and as a priority we me do whatever we can do to convince locals to spend their dollars in the town. Jess Gough knows this and I’m happy to be able to offer Council’s assistance.

On Monday night, Councillors gave their approval for this great new plan. In the coming weeks the two organisations will gather to formulate a strategy.

I look forward to reporting back to the community what promotions Council and chamber decide to do. 

I particularly thank Jess Gough from the Wellington Chamber of Commerce who has led the charge and convinced Councillors to invest more in Wellington’s retail sector.

Last Edited: 29 Aug 2019

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