Tourism in the North East would get a significant boost if the Spirit of ANZAC Experience (SACE) was set up as a permanent feature in Wodonga.
Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, has thrown her full support behind the proposal being put forward by the Wodonga Chamber of Commerce.
“Congratulations to the Chamber members for having the foresight to look at the potential for this important military exhibition to become a permanent tourist attraction, it’s a very exciting opportunity,” Ms McGowan said.
“Having SACE permanently featured in Wodonga would attract more tourists to the area, create employment and help with economic development for the North East.
“I think the proposal has much merit, particularly given Wodonga was the official launch of SACE and the start of a national tour. I will be lobbying and working with Government to see this idea become a reality.”
Ms McGowan said the defence force has played a long and important role in the North East.
“SACE being permanently set up in Wodonga would be due recognition for the important contributions soldiers from the North East made in the WWI effort,” Ms McGowan said.
Wodonga Chamber of Commerce Business Manager Bernie Squire said the idea had been raised at the August meeting. This would address Wodonga’s need for a tourism venture of the stature of Sovereign Hill with SACE filling the void.
“Wodonga is drastically under-represented for quality tourism experiences,” Mr Squire said.
“It would be great if the exhibition could be permanently housed and available to visitors to Wodonga.
“If successful, this major attraction would be an employer, especially for some of our local unemployed youth, thus assisting to tackle this critical issue.”
Mr Squire said a site could be determined in consultation with all the necessary stakeholders.
“I’d encourage the Wodonga business community to get behind this proposal. We have two years before the exhibition finishes the current tour and this gives us time to put together a solid case.”