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CoastOut to bring pink dollars

COFFS Harbour is being positioned as the perfect place to spend the pink dollar.

The City Council is supporting a local entrepreneur to expose the Coffs Coast to a demographic which has largely bypassed the region – gay and lesbian tourists.

“It will be the chance for all of us to say ‘g’day to a gay’,” said Councillor Denise Knight.

To say she is excited that a gay and lesbian festival is being planned for the city is an understatement.

It was Cr Knight who last year proposed the idea of a gay games-type event when the then shadow treasurer Joe Hockey declared that Coffs Harbour needed a signature event.

When The Advocate short-listed nominations for new events, the public voted the gay games idea into fourth place.

“I put the idea forward because this is something we have never done before on the Coffs Coast even though we have a large local gay community,” Cr Knight said.

“We are talking about welcoming and embracing people who are well known for having fun, being creative and being non-violent. It will also be a chance for all of us here to show our acceptance.”

Called ‘CoastOut’ it will be a privately run three-day event held on the last weekend of October.

The Coffs Harbour City Council has thrown its support behind CoastOut, providing the Park Beach Reserve for the fair day and tea dance, Jetty Beach for the beach carnival and assistance with marketing and insurance costs.

CoastOut will also feature Australia’s first gay and lesbian surf contest and a welcome cocktail party.

Coffs Coast Marketing Manager Glenn Caldwell said it will showcase the city’s myriad attractions and stunning natural environment to new tourists from major cities.

“This festival will expose the Coffs Coast to a completely new demographic of holiday makers, investors and sea-changers,” Mr Caldwell said.

“I have been working closely with (council’s) economic development manager Jenny Oloman and her team. We are confident this festival with provide a big economic boost to the area.”

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