A rural Queensland shire has created its own version of Tourism Australia’s $15 million ‘Matesong’ ad.
The two-minute video was created by locals from Balonne Shire in south-west Queensland to celebrate the recent rain which washed the dust off and made the rivers run once again.
In true bush style, the video is made on a shoestring budget and showcases a range of colourful locals and their businesses along with local schools and rugged country landscapes.
It’s a stark contrast to the pristine beaches, famous sporting grounds and iconic landmarks showcased in Tourism Australia’s version.
Balonne Shire Mayor Richard Marsh said rather than attracting the Brits down under they’re hoping it will give Australians a good idea for their next holiday detestation.
The star-studded cast of the ‘St George Matesong’ includes Lucy Sevil, a local jillaroo who had never worn make-up before but was up for the challenge as she channelled her inner Kylie and Balonne Shire Council safety advisor, Ben Gardner, who returned to work with a holiday beard and was coerced out of his high vis gear to play Australian comedian Adam Hills.
Marsh said the light-hearted music clip captures the indomitable spirit of the people who live, work and play in the regions seven river towns.
“It’s one of those tunes you just can’t get out of your head and it really tells our story of resilience and hope,” he said.
“Our region is throwing out the welcome mat and inviting everyone to come on a road trip adventure to the beautiful Balonne during what is the very best time of year to visit.”
To celebrate the clip, Welcome Mate Packs will be given to the first 500 travellers from outside the Shire who visit the St George Visitor Information Centre and say ‘I’ll be your Mate’. The packs include a $20 Buy Balonne Gift Card, discount vouchers, local merchandise and regional information.