OBN Tourism member a sucker for cross-border promotion

An historic blower used for opal mining in Coober Pedy in South Australia has been donated to the National Road Transport Hall of Fame in Alice Springs.

The blower, valued at more than $5500, was donated by South Australian multi-tourism award winner and Desert Knowledge Australia Outback Business Networks member, Trevor Berry, of the Old Timers Mine in Coober Pedy.

About 50 people attended the official handover on Tuesday 29 May. Mr Berry travelled up to Alice Springs for the celebration.

Mr Berry said the blower, which is mounted on the back of a Bedford truck, works by sucking out mining debris from mine shafts underground and bringing it to the surface where it is blown out of the machine. The resulting piles of rock and dust create the distinctive mullock heaps surrounding Cooper Pedy that give the area its unique lunar landscape.

He said the donation was an excellent example of collaborative tourism, as the Old Timers Mine and Road Transport Hall of Fame will be promoting each other through the display that will be set up around the blower. There is also a National Road Transport Hall of Fame display at the Old Timers Mine.

“It showcases this amazing machinery and also gives us a wonderful opportunity for two excellent tourist attractions to demonstrate what cross border tourism should be about and how positive partnerships can be formed,” he said.

Mr Berry said he had long been a fan of collaborative approaches to cross border tourism and for this reason had been an enthusiastic member of Outback Business Networks since 2009.

He participated in the Outback Business Networks Tourism Exchange in Alice Springs in 2010 where he first began talking with Liz Martin of the National Road Transport Hall of Fame.

Since then the Old Timers Mine and the National Road Transport Hall of Fame have worked together to promote each other.