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Broome expo attracts widespread interest

WITH expressions of interest flooding in from businesses in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Northern Territory and Perth, the 2003 North West Expo is shaping up to be a stellar regional event.

The expo will, for the first time, provide an integrated showcase of the north-west region, stretching from Darwin to Karratha.

Inspired by the ongoing success of the Dowerin Field Days, which attract 400 exhibitors annually, North West Expo steering committee vice-chair Elizabeth Lucke moved to resurrect the Lions GWN Broome Trade Expo, which had lapsed four years ago.

Ms Lucke said the committee had used the Dowerin event as a template in its aim to attract not just businesses in the north-west, but also those wanting to trade into the region.

“The Dowerin expo is based around just one industry, agriculture. In the north-west we have so much to offer and so many industries – tourism, primary industries, horticulture, mining, aquaculture, building and construction, and government.”

The north-west is the fastest moving area in WA, with the region’s economy having grown 24 per cent in the past five years.

Ms Lucke said the expo was new and unexplored territory in that it was the first time business had the opportunity to network across the whole north-west region.

“When you live this remotely, networking is incredibly important and the way businesses run in remote areas is different to metropolitan Perth,” she said. “These sorts of events usually generate a lot of activity.”

Ms Lucke said that, in addition to securing support from the NT Chamber of Commerce, tourism ministers from both WA and the NT would attend the event.

“The soon-to-be-completed railway from Adelaide to Darwin will bring advantages to the region such as flow-on tourism, which could bring the opportunities to co-package deals that take tourists from the red centre on into the beautiful scenery of the Kimberley region,” Ms Lucke said.

There have been 200 expressions of interest so far for the event, which will be held over two days in May at the Broome Racecourse.

“If we get to even a quarter or a third the size of the Dowerin field day I would be extremely pleased as we have given five to 10 years to get to that scale,” Ms Lucke said.

With government funding limited, the expo is primarily sponsored by the Lions Club, GWN and the Broome Chamber of Commerce.

“The involvement of the Lions Club and the Chamber of Commerce is vital, as I think that community ownership is critical,” Ms Lucke said.

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