Echuca Riverboats Festival

Mr O'Sullivan (Northern Victoria) — Last weekend I had the pleasure with my lovely partner of attending the Riverboats Music Festival in Echuca. The festival is an annual event and has been running since 2012. The festival attracts thousands of people from right around Victoria, NSW and many other parts of Australia and is a perfect showcase for what regional Victoria has to offer for such events. In a beautiful setting down beside the Murray River and nestled amongst the gum trees the festival had a considerable line-up of artists, including some Australian royalty in James Reyne, the Hoodoo Gurus and Paul Kelly.

The festival is a magnificent attraction for regional Victoria and particularly Echuca, and many locals believe the festival is the highlight of the year on what is a very busy tourism calendar up there. I would like to congratulate everyone who assisted in putting on such a terrific festival — the organising committee, the Shire of Campaspe and the many other sponsors, including 60-odd local business festival supporters. I thank the many volunteers who made the event possible and who freely gave up their time to support a local country event.

Regional Victoria is attracting some major music talent, with Bruce Springsteen playing at Hanging Rock the weekend before. I look forward to many more festivals in regional Victoria, and I encourage people from Melbourne to take the opportunity to come out to the regions and explore all that the country has to offer. Regional Victoria is a great place to visit, spend the weekend and holidays and support local businesses. By supporting regional events, you are also supporting regional businesses and regional jobs.

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