A record 12,000 people flocked to the Winter Harvest Festival on Saturday to celebrate the Scenic Rim’s world class produce and the benefits of eating and drinking local.
The Eat Local Week signature event was a feast of the Scenic Rim’s produce and people and attracted visitors from Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Ipswich, Toowoomba and surrounding regions.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk arrived with her father Henry, a former Queensland Minister for Primary Industries, and spent two hours chatting to locals and officiating the hotly-contested Tractor Pulling Competition.
“The Winter Harvest Festival plates up a delicious array of food for visitors, highlighting the quality and range of produce available on Brisbane’s doorstep,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“I had the opportunity to visit the region following Tropical Cyclone Debbie and met with producers and toured the affected areas. It is particularly heartening to see such a bumper crop of visitors this year – three months after Tropical Cyclone Debbie hit the region.
“Touring the stalls and attractions, visitors will not only discover the vast array of fresh, local products available right on our doorstep but they will also see up-close how the region is back in business.”
Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen declared the entire Eat Local Week festival a huge success, with many events sold out.
“What a week,” he said. “Scenic Rim Eat Local Week has emerged as the region’s foremost event for showcasing our key industries – agriculture and tourism. It is so exciting to see the event enthusiastically embraced by locals and tourists alike. They have a real appetite for the region’s food, farms and stunning scenery.
“We were thrilled the Premier could take the time to visit the Winter Harvest Festival and check in with the farmers, who two months ago, were facing devastating destruction due to the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie.
“Yesterday’s Harvest Festival was a testament to the hard work and resilience of the region’s producers to repair, rebuild and keep going.
“We thank everyone who took the time to come out and visit us during Scenic Rim Eat Local Week; to try the food, meet the farmers and support the producers who grow amazing products on the doorstep to Brisbane and the Gold Coast.”
Ms Palaszczuk said the Queensland Government was proud to deliver $25,000 to support the 2017 Scenic Rim Eat Local Week.
“With more than 30,000 people expected to attend the Eat Local Week events and buy local, the Queensland Government is proud to support this Scenic Rim Regional Council initiative,” she said.
“The Council estimates the annual event will inject an impressive $1.7 million boost to the Scenic Rim region’s local economy.”
Damage to the Scenic Rim’s infrastructure from ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie is estimated to be approximately $40 million. To date, 68 primary producers in the Scenic Rim have received disaster assistance valued at over $389,000
Scenic Rim Eat Local Week 2018 will be held from June 30 to July 8.
Scenic Rim Regional Council and local producers will promote regional produce again in two weeks at the Regional Flavours Festival at Southbank on July 15 and 16.