Individual marketing for Somerset

THE Somerset council wants to form its own marketing brand and leave the region-wide Brisbane marketing organisation.

The council has the support of its new LNP State member, Sean Choat, and is seeking funding from Tourism Queensland to promote the region independently of Brisbane Marketing.

Currently the organisation manages tourism in Brisbane, Ipswich, Moreton Bay, the Scenic Rim, the Lockyer Valley and the Somerset.

Somerset mayor Graeme Lehmann said the council wanted to create their own brand for the region.

"What we really want to do is get the name Somerset known," he said.

Cr Lehmann said with the area commonly known as the Brisbane Valley, due to the Brisbane River that runs through the region, the casual observer might not realise the Somerset was outside the city.

"Currently the area comes under the name Brisbane Valley. We don't have anything against Brisbane but some people wouldn't know the difference between Brisbane Valley and Fortitude Valley.

"We need to sell our own identity.

"How we market that is what we've got to look at."

Cr Lehmann said there had only been initial discussions regarding this and no decisions on the future of the Somerset's marketing had been made.

"It's very early days at the moment, there's really only been a whisper of anything," he said.

Somerset Cr Kirsten Moriarty told the council meeting last week she had discussed leaving Brisbane Marketing with Mr Choat, who had agreed to support the idea.

Mr Choat could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Despite wanting to create the region's own tourism identity, Cr Lehmann said he wanted to continue to work closely with neighbouring regions.

"We want to keep working closely with other regions though. We're not going to move away from any relationships we've formed there."

The Somerset region boasts south-east Queensland's two largest dams - Somerset and Wivenhoe; two popular destinations for fishing, boating and camping.

Similarly, Cr Lehmann said there were a number of B and Bs and restaurants, as well as walking paths, including the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, to attract a range of tourists.

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