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Monopoly Community Relief edition to shine a light on towns doing it tough in 2020

By Edwina Storie, Kylie Bartholomew and Krystal Gordon, Wednesday November 25, 2020 - 09:12 EDT
ABC licensed image
The makers say many had a difficult year and deserved to be included, but only 22 could be picked. - ABC licensed

An outback Queensland town says having a spot on a new Australian edition of the boardgame Monopoly is like "winning a Gold Logie".

Winton, west of Longreach, is one of 22 Australian towns that feature on the game's Community Relief edition, released today.

Winning Moves Australia, the maker of custom Monopoly boards, said the special edition was to honour Australian towns hit hard by bushfires, floods, or COVID-19 with $5 of every sale donated to the Australian Red Cross.

Winton Shire Council's tourism and events manager John Elliott was chuffed that the Tatts Hotel was chosen to represent the town on the boardgame.

"Getting on the Monopoly board is like winning a Gold Logie," he said.

"Winton has a really classic Australian country town main street, [it's] got three pubs on the street and they've used one of those pubs, it's pretty poetic actually."

Mr Elliott hoped it would raise Winton's profile.

"It's nice recognition of the place that Winton holds in the psyche of the Australian people ? the connection with Banjo Patterson, the fact that there were dinosaurs here.

"We hope that when people think of outback Queensland they think of Winton."

'Shining a light' on regions

Winning Moves Australia said with limited squares on the Monopoly board, it was a difficult task choosing which locations to feature.

"The places that were selected for the board have not only been impacted by 2020, many are recognisable places loved by people around the country and showcase different aspects of the nation," a spokeswoman said.

"We felt these areas could use some extra light and something positive for their community."

She said towns were grouped by state or territory and "we tried to suit the states to a colour that they had a connection with in some way, whether it's a sports team or flag".

What's your town's value in Monopoly dollars?

Just like the traditional boardgame, locations in the 'Community Relief' edition are represented with a 'monetary' value in Monopoly dollars ranging from Gippsland and Mildura at M400 and M350 down to Belconnen in the ACT and Queanbeyan in southern NSW both at M60.

Queanbeyan Mayor Tim Overall said it was "very exciting" to see the region included.

"I understand we're in the spot that Whitechapel Road would normally occupy, well it's very progressive area of East London," Cr Overall said.

He said areas including Braidwood and Araluen "suffered terribly with the prolonged drought" before the bushfires "raged through", with Black Summer claiming 80 homes and damaging many more.

"Then we had a flash flood incident which further cut the roads ? and now COVID, which we're all having to come to grips with and deal with," Cr Overall said.

Dairy farmer and Gippsland ambassador Sallie Jones said her region had suffered through drought, bushfires, and the pandemic.

She said she was thrilled to not only see her hometown on the board, but also in one of the most valuable spots.

"I can't believe that Gippsland gets a little bit of spotlight after all we've been through in the last couple of years," Ms Jones said.

"Far east Gippsland in particular, where it was really heavily impacted by bushfires, has beautiful natural assets, the beaches, and the mountains."

Noosa, valued at M140, is one of three Queensland locations along with Winton and Bundaberg.

Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart said its inclusion was "terrific news", particularly with part of the proceeds helping disaster-impacted families.

"With four major bushfires here last year in three months this community was heavily impacted. A lot of people displaced, people in evacuation centres, 7,000 hectares of land lost," she said.

Cr Stewart hoped it would encourage travellers to visit locations they may not ordinarily have thought to go to, helping communities recover.

"So it is wonderful to be on the board ? and it's great that people who haven't been here, it might just give them a reminder to pop up and see what a beautiful part of the world we really are," she said.

Cr Stewart said the Noosa community was resilient, strong, and collaborative, but "everyone will be happy to see the end of 2020 and look forward to a bigger and brighter 2021".


© ABC 2020

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