To entice and encourage essential workers to stay in Broken Hill, the city council, in partnership with the YMCA, are handing out three-month family aquatic centre memberships, free movie tickets, and even a subscription to our very own newspaper in each welcome pack distributed by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Far West.
RDA Far West is rolling out a Welcome Experience pilot program to support new essential workers and help create a connection to the city more quickly.
The project, designed to attract, prepare and welcome essential workers to regional, rural, and remote areas of NSW aims to keep those workers and their families in regional towns longer, with Broken Hill one of eight pilot locations.
“It’s a no-brainer, I think that sums it up pretty well. When you get here, you don’t want to be stuck in a motel or stuck in your accommodation, not getting out there,” Mayor Tom Kennedy said.
“What this does is gets you out there, gets you to the YMCA where you can meet other people and then get into doing some other things. Just having that in that welcome pack will encourage people to use it. But the main point of it is not the use, it is to make sure that the people that are here meet people and then want to stay here.”
Council’s General Manager, Jay Nankivell, said making sure essential workers didn’t feel isolated was one of the key factors in entering into the 50/50 partnership with the YMCA to provide the membership to incoming residents.
“One of the main points of feedback we get from residents that come in and then leave is that either themselves or their partners haven’t fully settled into the city. So, this is one way of doing that.”
Essential workers eligible for The Welcome Experience pack include Department of Education and Training employees, NSW Health employees, NSW Police Force employees, Department of Communities and Justice employees, and NSW Fire and Rescue staff.
As well as the new YMCA membership, the pack includes a Far West gift card up of $50 for singles and $100 for couples and families, hard copies of the Far West Prospectus and Far West Welcome Guide, a Far West Proud sticker, four free tickets to Silver City Cinema, and a three-month subscription to the Barrier Truth.