Bush buying power delivers $17K economic boost

Initiative to buy from bush delivers $17.5K economic boost in Dalby and Bell

Life & Style
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A busload of city shoppers have given Dalby and Bell an estimated $17,000 economic boost as campaigns to buy from the bush gain traction.

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A busload of Brisbanites hit Dalby to do their Christmas shopping. Photo- Emma Russell.

A busload of Brisbanites hit Dalby to do their Christmas shopping. Photo- Emma Russell.

A busload of city shoppers have given Dalby and Bell an estimated $17,000 economic boost as campaigns to buy from the bush gain traction across Australia.

Brisbane woman Kristin Bonner organised The Merry Muster, an event that brought a bus out to the two towns on Friday for a day of Christmas shopping.

The day came as enthusiasm to shop in local communities peaked amid social media campaigns to Buy from the Bush.

Some 53 shoppers boarded the bus in the morning ready to shop up a storm, bringing out 500kg worth of Foodbank food relief hampers as well as a van carrying 720kg of water, both bound for the Miles region.

The Urban Paddock Cafe at Dalby played host to 16 market stalls from as far away as 200km while Pips'n'Cherries in Bell played host to the Christmas lunch, with extra staff on for the day.

Funding from 20 ghost seats on the bus, bought by people that couldn't make it on the day, went towards a donation to the Bell Bunya Community Centre for new art gallery seating, with the centre also benefiting from more than $2500 worth of donated fitness equipment.

Ms Bonner said she calculated that the day had injected $17,515 into the Dalby and Bell communities.

"The atmosphere on the day was really fabulous," she said.

"Everyone was really buoyed by what we were doing... some of the people who greeted us on the day got a hug from every single person off the bus.

"I think everyone went with the view that any money spent in the area was a good investment."

Western Downs mayor Paul McVeigh with The Merry Muster organiser Kristin Bonner. Photo- Emma Russell.

Western Downs mayor Paul McVeigh with The Merry Muster organiser Kristin Bonner. Photo- Emma Russell.

Ms Bonner is already planning a Christmas in July Merry Muster in a still to be determined region, off the back of demand.

"There's already 60 people interested so it will probably be two buses," she said.

"I've also got a Sydney contact who is interested in coordinating an event in that area for next Christmas.

"I'd love to have the idea go national if we could."

Western Downs mayor Paul McVeigh said the day delivered so many benefits to local communities.

"It was absolutely fantastic," he said.

"Apart from the donations they brought, they brought with them an enthusiasm to support rural communities.

"This all supports local businesses, people who are delivering back into our rural communities every day of the year.

"I have to congratulate Kristin on her energy and enthusiasm in doing this.

"All it takes is someone to say 'yes, we're going to do this' and you can make great things happen."

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