Gin Gin’s Own 104.9 will celebrate 14 years on air with the official opening of a new studio as they move broadcasting into the volunteer-run Visitor Information Centre.
The broadcasting team took over the operation of the VIC last year to ensure there was always a passionate local on hand to share the area’s tourism attractions.
The birthday celebrations, to be held on Thursday 26 January, will also act as the VIC’s grand opening with the team already broadcasting from the building, centrally located on Mulgrave Street.
Treasurer Chris Flewellen said the station first hit local air waves in 2009.
“So, we decided, since we're reopening the information centre and we've built a second studio in here, that we would use it as a birthday for the radio station,” Mr Flewellen said.
“2009 'til now we're sort of, what, 14 years … in action so it's quite a big milestone.”
He said from the time they began broadcasting the station had steadily grown and had a great range of announcers.
New studio in Visitor Information Centre unique
Taking on the Visitor Information Centre when it became at risk of closing was a natural progression for the team of passionate locals.
“It was just basically the next stage from broadcasting to physically looking after the tourists while they're here as well.
“We want to see Gin Gin grow.
“The whole point is to get Gin Gin growing and to get some activity happening here and get the tourists to come here, stay in town for a while rather than just, you know, go to the toilet and get a coffee.”
He said they now had a very unique offering for visitors.
“It's the only one in Australia that we know of.
“There's no other information centre with a radio studio broadcasting live from an information centre.”
The team is working on a range of trails which would feature things to see and do in the area.
“And hopefully that means they'll put their feet up for a couple of days and stop.”
Bundaberg Tourism Marketing Manager Ellie Tonkin said they had been pleased to offer support to the Gin Gin’s Own 104.9 team of volunteers.
“We are particularly excited about the opportunities to partner with the team and the community on some marketing projects in 2023,” Ms Tonkin said.
“Gin Gin Broadcasters and the community have come forward with some fantastic ideas to promote the area and Bundaberg Tourism has committed to working alongside them to get these ideas and local gems out to as many of the region’s visitors as possible.
“Visitor Information Centres around the nation are built on the passion of residents who wish to share their extensive local knowledge, tips and tricks to make visitors’ trips extra special.
“Gin Gin Broadcasters and the whole Gin Gin community have stepped up to offer an incredible volunteer service and we look forward to a long and positive relationship with them.”
Mr Flewellen said the VIC’s grand opening, incorporating the new studio, was an opportunity to come along, meet the broadcasting team and wish Gin Gin’s Own 104.9 a Happy Birthday.
Gin Gin Visitor Information Centre grand opening
When: Thursday 26 January from 11 am
Where: Gin Gin Tourism Centre, Mulgrave Street centre