YOU can almost hear the keyboard warriors firing up their computers to have their say on Bathurst’s new logo.
The design, officially launched on Thursday, is the result more than 18 months of research by council staff and consultants.
The finished product is a stylised B that carries the tagline “Bathurst forever young”.
Whenever a new logo is launched, though, the easy response is to ridicule the design and scoff at the cost. It’s also the least useful response.
As with everything, good design is in the eye of the beholder and there will naturally be those who like the new logo and those – probably many more – who do not.
But we should not allow debate over the logo’s design to become the major talking point here. What matters most is what comes next.
Better branding of Bathurst as a destination requires a focus on promoting what we have to offer away from Mount Panorama.
It also requires a focus on collaboration that has historically been lacking in this area.
For too long, local tourism operators – hotels, restaurants, wineries, museums etc – have been left to co-ordinate their own promotion in a crowded and noisy environment.
What the community needs now is for council to finally take control of “brand Bathurst” and oversee the efforts of all stakeholders.
If we get it right, Bathurst will become a tourism powerhouse in regional NSW.
The danger for regional centres is in relying too heavily on a single attraction to drive their tourism sector.
In Mudgee it’s wine, in Tamworth it’s country music and in Parkes it’s Elvis. For too long, in Bathurst it’s been the Mount – at least to those who don’t live here.
But what locals know is that Bathurst is much more than a Mount.
Bathurst is the oldest inland settlement in Australia; it is an education hub; it is home to boutique wineries, breweries and a microdistillery; Bathurst boasts a living museum in the home of a former prime minister – and also the hemisphere’s most complete T-rex skeleton; and Bathurst is home to sporting facilities to rival anywhere in the state.
Most importantly, all of this is less than a three-hour drive from Sydney.
There’s plenty to sell here, we just need to let the buyers know.