NEW ATTRACTION: Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan with a potential winner of the 'The Next Big Thing' competition.
NEW ATTRACTION: Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan with a potential winner of the 'The Next Big Thing' competition. Enhanced graphic ALI KUCHEL

Could we be home to the next 'big thing'?

COULD Gatton soon have a colossal broccoli standing tall in its main street?

Online travel hub Wotif has launched a national initiative to boost regional tourism and drive money into a local economy.

It is called The Next Big Thing and one town in Australia will receive a new tourist attraction or 'big thing', much like the Big Banana or Big Pineapple.

Wotif is calling on people, businesses and councils to nominate their ideas, whether it be a person, food, animal or another object, that would best represent their town.

A short list will be announced on September 25 and the winner will be selected through a two-week public voting period ending on October 9.

The monument is planned to be built and unveiled by the end of the year.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan said she would be thrilled if a town in the region was selected for a new giant monument.

"Who, as kids, didn't get their photo taken with the Big Pineapple? Or if they were going to Coffs Harbour, everyone wants to to go the Big Banana,” she said.

"It is gimmicky - and that's not just about local and interstate tourism, that would be people coming from overseas. I think it would be a great opportunity.

"Everyone should have a crack. I'm keen and interested to know what people pick.”

Cr Milligan believes the attraction should be something everyone in the community could identify with.

Her own personal pick is a giant heart.

"If you look at our last census stats, the male to female ratio is almost 50/50,” she said.

"I continually go around saying 'here in our beautiful region, there is someone for everybody'.

"I think if you also look at our community and how they're wired, we have a really great community that's really resilient and really strong and they've got lots of heart.

"A big heart might sound a bit tacky but on so many levels I think it really epitomises our community.”

Research conducted by Wotif revealed 90 per cent of Australians had visited a 'big thing' in their lifetime and the average traveller had been to five.

It also found that 60 per cent of Aussies would stop if they saw a giant monument while on the highway and 39 per cent would travel out of their way to check one out.

"We truly do live in an incredible region. We should all be really proud of it and we should be showing it off,” Cr Milligan said.

Visit www.wotif.com/next bigthing for more information and to enter.

What our readers said

The big truck at Lake Apex. - Courtney Weston

A big basket overflowing with vegetables grown in the Locker Valley tilted on its side. - Annie Gay

We already have the big red elephant at Hatton Vale. Save ya money. - Ben Pryor

For Somerset the Big Quoll or my hubby suggests The Big Flannel Checked Shirt! - Lesley Whitteker

Big tractor. - Mark Calleja

The big silos - Forest Hill and paint them! Like Thallon's have all the produce grown around The Valley on one! = Kate Brimblecombe

The Big Potato in Lockyer Valley. Potato having so many different kinds and uses and ways to be cooked etc. - Le Kirwan


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