HookUp's vision boosted by council funds
GLADSTONE Regional Council has recognised the Boyne Tannum HookUp as a major driver of economic and tourism development by providing a three-year $100,000 investment in the fishing competition.
The funding is in stark contrast to the $10,000 granted last year to HookUp, which is recognised as a signature event for the region.
HookUp president Jennifer McGuire said the funds would be used to deliver on its strategic plan through to 2021.
"We're not asking anything for the event, we're asking for Gladstone," Mrs McGuire said.
"We aren't asking for $33,000 to keep the event running, we're asking for $33,000 each year for economic and tourist development.
"Last year council only gave us $10,000 and people were in an uproar about it.
"I tried to be positive about it but people know how successful HookUp is and how many people it brings to the region.
"They want to see council supporting it and it's great they are supporting it.
"I just want the public to know what they're supporting - it's about economic and tourist development.
"The event isn't going anywhere and it's sustainable and economically viable."
It's estimated HookUp generated about $1.7million in the local economy last year.
One of HookUp's projected outcomes is a 3 per cent increase in ticket sales each year through to 2021.
Last year there were 3055 entrants registered in the competition with more than 25,000 attendees over the three nights of activities.
HookUp's data revealed 53 per cent of 2018 revenue came from ticket sales with 31 per cent through sponsorship.
Next year will see a 5 per cent increase in marketing expenditure due to the event's 25th birthday.
Mayor Matt Burnett said the HookUp committee was doing a great job.
"Hats off to their committee... They do things differently and they do it very well," he said.