PREPARATIONS for Gunnedah’s energy, mining and innovation expo (eIMEx) have taken another step forward as Gunnedah Shire Council (GSC) and the NSW Government throw their full backing behind the event.
The event hosted by the Gunnedah Show Society this November, will showcase the best in energy, mining and innovation from around the region and beyond, as well as highlight the versatility of the Gunnedah Showgrounds.
On Wednesday GSC mayor Jamie Chaffey presented $20,000 to eIMEx representative George Avard to support the event following a successful motion to do so at last month’s council meeting.
Cr Chaffey said council was proud to support the event.
“I think this is a very timely and relevant event for our community to host given our major involvement around energy, mining and innovation,” Cr Chaffey said.
“Also geographically we are in a terrific position for visitors to come from along the east coast of Australia and further afield to see what Gunnedah has to offer in the fields of energy, of mining and innovation as well as tourism.
“We certainly hope and are confident that this event will become an annual part of our shire’s events calendar and a strong tourism draw for our region.”
Gunnedah Show Society’s George Avard told The Namoi Valley Independent council’s funding was crucial to the event’s success.
“This funding will encourage more exhibitors and sponsors to get behind the event knowing that our council completely supports the event themselves,” Mr Avard said.
"As well as drawing more exhibitors and sponsors the funds will also allow us more opportunities to entice more sponsors, exhibitors and visitors to take part in the event and visit Gunnedah.”
The expo received a further boost later in the day when organisers learned their application for $20,000 of state government funding had been successful.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson announced on Wednesday afternoon the state government would contribute the funds from its 2018 Incubator Event Fund.
“Events like the eIMEx will play an important role in driving additional overnight visitation to Gunnedah,” Mr Anderson said.
“It is a fantastic way to fuel our local economy by putting more heads on hotel beds, diners in our restaurants and shoppers in our boutiques, and I am delighted this event will benefit from the NSW Government’s funding support.
“We are growing the regional tourism pie across NSW, making sure everybody gets a slice.
“This funding boost will have a positive impact on local hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions – helping to stimulate local economies and create more jobs.”
Innovation is expected to be a showcase of the event, with prizes up for grabs for the best exhibitors.
“Innovation will play a massive part in the expo,” Mr Avard said.
“I think we are likely to see some terrific exhibits of things such as robots, drones and other unbelivable things.
“There will be some prizes on offer and competitions for entrants to be involved in at the expo and hopefully that will be an ongoing attraction and vital part of the event going forward.”
Mr Avard said eIMEx has already approached many potential exhibitors.
“At this stage we have had many exhibitors indicate to us that they are interested,” he said.
“We will hopefully be announcing a new major sponsor of the event in the coming weeks and hopefully a few of these interested exhibitors will sign on the dotted line and be at the event.”
Council has also resolved to support the expo with $15,000 of in-kind finical support.
The expo will be held at the Gunnedah Showgrounds from November 1-3.