There has been much talk over the years on how to revitalise the older part of the Pialba business district. I personally believe there is one fundamental problem that needs addressing. We need to have a suburb called Hervey Bay City which incorporates the CBD area. At present the CBD lies within the suburb of Pialba & fringe CBD in Uraween, therefore confusing many outsiders on where the CBD is. It is also hard for businesses to brand themselves on a state, intrastate or international level when they write there address down as Pialba, which means nothing outside the region. The area has spent millions of dollars branding the city as a destination, but there is no actual part of the city called Hervey Bay, we only officially have the Bay of Hervey Bay.
In the new age of technology it is extremely important to get a clear brand out in the market place, because consumers are now doing most of their research via internet with search engines such as Google. Someone sitting in Sydney looking to do business in Hervey Bay isn’t going to search for a suburb such as Pialba; they recognise the brand name of Hervey Bay, just as they would type in Maryborough or Brisbane.
The issue goes way beyond normal branding, it gets reflected in property magazines& websites that show property values for all the different suburbs in around the area, but there is no suburb of Hervey Bay. Many Weather maps don’t recognise our area, look at many of the state and national newspapers; they bypass Hervey Bay in their maps, even though many towns with far smaller populations are shown. Some of the evening news weather maps do the same. Go to many search engines for travel, such as Google maps, RACQ, and the location of the city differs and you do not get a clear or consistent location of where the CBD is. It doesn’t exist beyond council’s town planning scheme.
As someone who works within the CBD and does a lot of commercial business state wide & interstate, it’s a source of constant confusion and very difficult to get accurate statistics to reflect CBD sales, populations, values etc. It is also hard to explain to anyone interstate that there is no CBD suburb and part of Pialba or Uraween covers the CBD.
I believe it would be a fantastic branding exercise for Hervey Bay to have a clear identity for its City Heart. Also with the new Fraser Coast Regional Council it could promote two CBD centres. This would be good for business to all come under a consistent Brand.