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Royalties for Regions supports 2017 Ballooning Championships return to Northam

For more information, contact Mia Davies (Deputy Leader | Member for Central Wheatbelt).

The Australian National Ballooning Championships will be held in Northam this September and will be the most significant event on the Australian ballooning calendar.

Local Member Mia Davies welcomed the announcement that Royalties for Regions funding would assist the Northam Aero Club deliver a great event that would benefit Northam and the Avon Valley.

"When the National Ballooning Championships came to Northam in 2015 for the first time in 30 years it was a spectacular success,” she said.

“The competitors said the area is top-class for ballooning, and it attracted thousands of visitors eager to watch the competition and experience other associated events like the balloon glow.”

Expected to attract up to 11,000 spectators, the event will be managed by Northam Aero Club and supported by the Shire of Northam and a range of other sponsors and in-kind donations from local organisations.

Ms Davies said attracting such a significant event was great for the local economy.

“Competitors and their teams stay for about 10 days, and intrastate visitation goes up over the course of the competition, injecting an estimated $1.8 million into the local economy.

It is expected this year’s event will attract international competitors from Japan, Hong Kong and Europe as well as from WA and interstate.

Northam Aero Club President Errol Croft said the club was honoured to have the opportunity to host the Championships again.

“We are very appreciative of the support offered by the State Government and Shire of Northam for this event and the airfield in general,” he said.

“Receiving Royalties for Regions and Tourism WA funding is a credit to the hard working team that put up the bid for the 2017 National Championships and we are extremely proud to have secured the event.”

Member for the Agricultural Region Martin Aldridge MLC said the Avon Valley would be showcased to national and international audiences through widespread media interest in the 2017 event.

“Northam already has a reputation as one of the world’s premier ballooning destinations, exemplified by Russian pilot Fedor Konyukhov choosing Northam as the departure point for his record breaking solo round-the-world flight last year,” he said.

To find out more about the 2017 National Ballooning Championships in Northam visit http://www.northamnationals.com/

For more information please contact Mia Davies on 9622 2871 (Northam office), 9041 1702 (Merredin office) or email mia.davies@mp.wa.gov.au