Industry in favour

June 2010 News JONO PECH - Sunraysia Daily
The Mildura Jewel proposal has another supporter in Sunraysia's houseboat industry.

In a letter read at Thursday's council meeting last Thursday, the Mildura Wentworth Houseboat Association urged Mildura Rural City Council to secure the development for the community.

Association secretary Tim Knight, who owns Acacia Houseboats, said there were 50 hire boats in Sunraysia worth about $25 million.

Mr Knight said investment in the past five years had exceeded $3 million annually, with 13,000 visitors in the past 12 months also spending money on food, fuel, meals and wine.

"It's the convention centre that impresses us," he said.

"The complex would bring people to Mildura and make us a destination so companies like Qantas would advertise Mildura for packages, including five-star accommodation and restaurants - the casino would come about third, I think.

"If people come to conventions, like they did with the Lion's Club, we had people here for a week afterward deciding they'd take a houseboat holiday. We back onto the accommodation side of it.

"I'm not terribly interested in a casino and I doubt many would go up from the river to visit the casino, but people who come for conventions would certainly be looking at houseboat holidays and things like that.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Monday's Sunraysia Daily 31/5/2010.

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