To survive, most country towns need just one point of difference. One often seemingly crazy idea can save a community.
It may be a different crop like drying kelp from the ocean and exporting it to the other side of the world for further processing as an additive for food stuffs, cosmetics and medicines like the folks on King Island do. It may be seafood like oysters to foster supporting industries like processing and chandlery. It could be a grand museum, think Longreach and the Stockman’s Hall of Fame. The build it and they’ll come, no matter how far mentality. Maybe a music festival. Music put Tamworth on the map, Port Fairy too with its folk festival.
Some towns have had the good fortune to have been forgotten for a long time. Towns like Grenfell, NSW and Maldon, Vic both now boast streets of well-preserved historic buildings and visitors that are happy to leave the highway and spend a few bucks soaking up the feel of yesteryear.
We first visited Margaret River in 1975, back then it was known for its tall timber and surfing was becoming popular. The wine industry, that it is now known for, was little more than furrows and a dream.
And when it comes to angles what better example than Wycliffe Wells on the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory eh? Just throw in a few flying saucers and some aliens to keep the kiddies amused. Yes, you’ve gotta have an angle to survive out there.