Councillors to debate next step in Bathurst branding debacle

BATHURST councillors have decided something must be done about the city’s controversial new logo – now they just have to decide what.

Two notices of motion regarding the future of the logo will go before Wednesday night’s Bathurst Regional Council meeting.

While both fall short of calling for the logo and Forever Young tagline to be dumped immediately, the notices of motion suggest different ways forward for the new branding strategy.

Councillors Monica Morse and Ian North have lodged a notice of motion calling for the rollout of the branding strategy to be deferred “pending a report on options for the future direction of the branding”.

At the same time, councillors Bobby Bourke and Jess Jennings are calling on council to go back to the consultants that developed the strategy “to provide two additional redesigned logos and two additional redesigned tag lines” for consideration by council.

It will now be up to the full council to decide what to do next.

Wednesday night’s discussion will come after more councillors have added their voices to the chorus criticising both the Forever Young tagline and the process that decided on it.

Councillors Morse and Alex Christian have already publicly expressed their concerns while Cr North told this month’s policy committee meeting that current and past councillors weren’t given a say on the final design.

Councillors only received a briefing on the new logo and tagline the night before they were revealed to the public.

“I want to make it clear, I am not happy with the process we followed in this with the decision being made,” Cr North said.

“I refer the mayor back to when he was first elected mayor. He made the point (that) he ‘would give his fellow councillors a greater say in the operation of council and ensure they were given a great opportunity to represent the people of Bathurst’.

“Well, I don’t think we got the opportunity to represent the people of Bathurst.” 

Cr Jennings also took issue with the logo design, saying it didn’t reflect that Bathurst was Australia’s first inland European settlement.

“I think we really needed to put our heritage front and centre,” he said.

“We should be claiming the status as the home and heart of rural and regional Australia, we should be claiming the status as the birthplace of inland Australian agriculture. We’ve got so many other firsts, but none of that is captured by the new logo.”

Cr Jennings asked that an alternate logo be developed based on the existing community consultation with the brief that the city was the first inland settlement. 

“We’ve smashed it out of the park in terms of motor sport – that’s our strength – but our weakness is selling the town during the other months,” he said.

Cr Bourke also raised concerns about a lack of consultation with councillors.

“I agree with Cr North, the process could’ve been better and we have forwarded that to the general manager in the first instance,” he said.

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