Gin Gin’s Own 104.9 has long been sharing the region’s best attributes via the airwaves but soon will share the details face-to-face at the town’s Visitor Information Centre.
Gin Gin Community Broadcasters, which has been airing Gin Gin’s Own 104.9 since January 2009, successfully applied to operate the Visitor Information Centre (VIC).
The VIC was previously operated by Bundaberg Tourism through a partnership agreement with Bundaberg Regional Council.
However in October 2021, Bundaberg Tourism announced the centre was no longer financially viable and made the decision to close it.
Following this decision, and in recognition of the importance of the VIC to the local community and its strategic position on the Bruce Highway, Council released Expressions of Interest for community groups willing to take on the job.
The community broadcaster seized the opportunity and after making a successful application has signed a permit to occupy the building.
Treasurer Chris Flewellen also owns a business in the Gin Gin CBD and said he knew from experience that there was high visitor demand for local tourism information.
“The other thing that people keep coming into my shop about is ‘what can we do here?’,” Chris said.
For the community radio station, it was a natural progression.
“The whole point of our radio is giving out information,” he said.
“It just seemed to me to be a common sense move that is sort of ‘next step’ for us to go from just broadcasting and really getting in with the tourists.”
And they’ve already got big ideas to boost the tourism potential of the Gin Gin area, with plans in place to release a trail of must-see locations.
At this stage the Gin Gin’s Own 104.9 team hopes to open the doors to the VIC on October 31 with the broadcasting capabilities to follow in the months to come.
Chris hopes combining the group’s broadcast capabilities with the VIC function will create more awareness about the radio station.
“It would be great being upfront and in front of the tourists.
“They can ask for songs to be played.”
Their current studio location is “tucked away” so he also hoped to create more awareness among locals and anyone new to town.
Gin Gin's Own 104.9 volunteers needed
Chris said the VIC would provide all of the traditional tourism information services and would also become a second studio location for Gin Gin’s Own 104.9.
With radio presenters set to broadcast live from the location, he said volunteers were needed to help run the visitor information services.
“What we’ll do is broadcast 6 to 6 from the VIC and 6 to 9 from the current studio we’re in now.
“We’re looking for 20 volunteers.
“We want to do four hour shifts, seven days a week.
“We need a fair few volunteers to make it happen.”
By paying a small membership fee to Gin Gin Community Broadcasters volunteers will be covered by the radio station’s insurance.
To become a volunteer or to find out more contact Gin Gin’s Own 104.9 on 4157 1049 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more at public meeting
Council and Bundaberg Tourism, along with the team from Gin Gin’s Own 104.9, will host a public meeting at the Gin Gin Community Hub for the community to learn more about the Gin Gin VIC on 7 November from 6 pm.