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‘Massive’ welcome signs to sell our city

By Charlotte Harper 15 August 2016 37

Andrew Barr with big new gatewway signs for Canberra on Pialligo Avenue.

Coffs Harbour has the Big Banana, Goulburn has the Big Merino, and now Canberra has the Whopping Great Big Welcome Signs.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr was on site on Pialligo Avenue in his capacity as Minister for Tourism this afternoon to officially launch the first pair of eight major new gateway signs coming online in the lead-up to the first Singapore Airlines direct international flights next month.

Similar signs will appear on the other three major road routes into the city, with two each alongside the Barton, Federal and Monaro highways, later this week.

Mr Barr, looking somewhat smaller than usual alongside the towering signs, emphasised their size.

“These signs are six and a half metres tall and three and a half metres wide, so they’re very difficult to miss,” he said.

“[They’re about] capturing some of the tourism experiences the city has to offer, on a massive scale.”

He said he felt it was important to mark the entry to the city with “signs of this quality”.

“It’s a more contemporary look for our entry signage, reflecting the new city branding, our new sister city relationship with Wellington and also a significant new look, focusing on the work of local artists,” Mr Barr said.

The ACT Government has spent $610,000 on the signs, with the Commonwealth Government pitching in $250,000.

Visit Canberra executive director Ian Hill said the signs offered great exposure, with Pialligo Road alone carrying 25,000 cars per day.

“Millions and millions of people are going to see these signs through the traffic across these major gateways,” Mr Hill said.

The “skins” on the signs currently featured images of Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, the Arboretum, Lake Burley Griffin, the National Museum and cycling at Stromlo Forest Park, but could be changed to promote specific events such as Floriade or Enlighten as required.

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37 Responses to
‘Massive’ welcome signs to sell our city
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dungfungus 6:16 pm 02 Jul 17

Seen late today near the “Welcome to Canberra” sign on the Monaro Highway at Williamsdale was a “radar revenue ranger” van.

Welcome to Canberra indeed.

rommeldog56 9:38 am 29 Aug 16

Saw the 2 on the Monaro Highway yesterday. They are quite distracting when you are doing 100 kph. Though its a subjective judgement, personally, I think they look awful. How long before the graffiti taggers get at them (which is already happening on the new sound barrier wooden fence along the Ashley drive duplication – and its not even fisished yet) !!!

dungfungus 3:15 pm 19 Aug 16

Arthur Davies said :

About on a par with the not lamented “feel the power” number plates. Totally tacky, bad taste, unnecessary (they are already here). Maybe a direction sign to the essentially inaccessible tourist information spot would have been more useful. The sort of thing one expects on the gold Coast but not in Canberra where we are supposed to have better taste & standards.

Our tram will be better than the Gold Coast one for lots of reasons, mainly it will cost more so it must be better.

Arthur Davies 2:36 pm 19 Aug 16

About on a par with the not lamented “feel the power” number plates. Totally tacky, bad taste, unnecessary (they are already here). Maybe a direction sign to the essentially inaccessible tourist information spot would have been more useful. The sort of thing one expects on the gold Coast but not in Canberra where we are supposed to have better taste & standards.

dungfungus 5:21 pm 18 Aug 16

madelini said :

dungfungus said :

madelini said :

dungfungus said :

La_Tour_Maubourg said :

A fantastic (and unique) first impression of Canberra.

………….which will be seen mostly by Canberrans.
A cardboard cutout of Andrew Barr should be attached to each sign so we can share the eclat.

As a Canberran, I am a fan of the signs. They are a lovely reminder that this city is so much more than negative comments on the Internet.

You have missed the point. The signs are not designed for Canberrans, they are for tourists.

I have not missed the point. I will reap the benefits by enjoying these signs, and being reminded of the beautiful things I love about this city, even though I am not the intended audience. These signs are better than those stone signs saying “Australian Capital Territory”, and much better than the ADF advertisements in the airport; they are welcoming and give visitors an idea of what the locals take pride in (while also reminding the locals of those things, in case they are feeling particularly negative).

Saying that I am missing the point is like saying no one over the age of 10 should enjoy Disney films because they are not the primary viewers.

I still have nightmares about Bambi’s mother being shot. Disney movies are far too violent.
That aside, there is certainly a lot of “disneyland” in the actions of our current government.

madelini 2:24 pm 18 Aug 16

dungfungus said :

madelini said :

dungfungus said :

La_Tour_Maubourg said :

A fantastic (and unique) first impression of Canberra.

………….which will be seen mostly by Canberrans.
A cardboard cutout of Andrew Barr should be attached to each sign so we can share the eclat.

As a Canberran, I am a fan of the signs. They are a lovely reminder that this city is so much more than negative comments on the Internet.

You have missed the point. The signs are not designed for Canberrans, they are for tourists.

I have not missed the point. I will reap the benefits by enjoying these signs, and being reminded of the beautiful things I love about this city, even though I am not the intended audience. These signs are better than those stone signs saying “Australian Capital Territory”, and much better than the ADF advertisements in the airport; they are welcoming and give visitors an idea of what the locals take pride in (while also reminding the locals of those things, in case they are feeling particularly negative).

Saying that I am missing the point is like saying no one over the age of 10 should enjoy Disney films because they are not the primary viewers.

La_Tour_Maubourg 12:29 pm 18 Aug 16

dungfungus said :

gooterz said :

dungfungus said :

madelini said :

dungfungus said :

La_Tour_Maubourg said :

A fantastic (and unique) first impression of Canberra.

………….which will be seen mostly by Canberrans.
A cardboard cutout of Andrew Barr should be attached to each sign so we can share the eclat.

As a Canberran, I am a fan of the signs. They are a lovely reminder that this city is so much more than negative comments on the Internet.

You have missed the point. The signs are not designed for Canberrans, they are for tourists.

but to see them you have to be in Canberra already?
Canberra isn’t a town along the highway you have to force yourself to come here by turning off the highway.

Are they also going to install the signs along the Monaro highway down south?

The same signs have been installed on the Monaro highway just south of the Angle Crossing turn-off.
Do you honestly think that tourists are going to drive into Canberra only because of those signs?
If I ever plan a touring trip I find out as much as I can first about chosen destinations and make bookings etc. before arrival; these days it is so easy to do using the internet.
I think most other people would do the same.
It has been reported recently that most tourists who come to Canberra are overseas ones who have committed to come here so their chances of seeing the signs are remote.

Tourists may not visit a city solely to view the welcome signs. Good first impressions are desired, however.

If one is tech savvy and not a fan of the signs, perhaps connecting to CBR free wifi is a recommended alternative in determining when you are entering the city.

International visitors (either arriving from connecting flights or the upcoming direct international offerings) will be greeted by the signs alongside Pialligo Avenue.

dungfungus 10:54 am 18 Aug 16

rommeldog56 said :

dungfungus said :

A cardboard cutout of Andrew Barr should be attached to each sign so we can share the eclat.

I hear that there is a lot of spare cardboard left over from the $10K+ cardboard tram that the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t had built. It would be very green to reuse it.

It has probably been pulped along with anything that has “Capital Metro Agency” on it.
That toxic entity disappeared on the 2nd July 2016 with the re-naming of it to the “light rail project city-to-gungahlin”.
If you Google anything with Capital Metro in it now you will arrive at the new Transport Canberra and City Services website with all the usual spin but very little mention of Capital Metro.

matt1991991 10:23 am 18 Aug 16

I really struggle to understand how it managed to cost $610,000 but I do really like them. I live in Murrumbateman so I see these everyday and I think they are much nicer than the pebble stone ACT sign.

I would however enjoy if that sign had fallen over and flattened Andrew Barr…..

rommeldog56 8:41 am 18 Aug 16

KingstonGuy said :

Love these signs! They create a great first impression as you enter the territory. Good work Mr Barr!

Ummm….a great first impression of what ?? The Back Mountain tower ? Hot air balloons ?? A road ?? A few hills ?? An on road bike lane ?? That CBR symbol (that apparently stands for Confident, Bold and Ready – not Canberra) which is not explained so will be inexplicable to visitors (let alone Canberrian’s who think it is the the same CBR as on the destination on airline tickets).

As for the “Coast Alpine Tablelands” caption, whats that ? Would have been better to say “Between Coast, Apline and Tablelands” – or “Between” maybe.

But its more ACT Labor/Greens self pin, so it must be “good work” !! I’m sure ACT voters and Ratepayers will accept it without question – again.

rommeldog56 8:25 am 18 Aug 16

dungfungus said :

A cardboard cutout of Andrew Barr should be attached to each sign so we can share the eclat.

I hear that there is a lot of spare cardboard left over from the $10K+ cardboard tram that the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t had built. It would be very green to reuse it.

wildturkeycanoe 6:36 am 18 Aug 16

Great sign. Shows a single lane road with double white lines and a cycle lane. All it’s missing is the lycra brigade going two abreast and a car passing on the wrong side of the road screaming blue murder at them. That plus our beloved Skywhale, who stole our money and floated off to see the world.

gooterz 12:37 am 18 Aug 16

The hollywood sign was only $250,000

KingstonGuy 11:34 pm 17 Aug 16

Love these signs! They create a great first impression as you enter the territory. Good work Mr Barr!

dungfungus 9:23 pm 17 Aug 16

gooterz said :

dungfungus said :

madelini said :

dungfungus said :

La_Tour_Maubourg said :

A fantastic (and unique) first impression of Canberra.

………….which will be seen mostly by Canberrans.
A cardboard cutout of Andrew Barr should be attached to each sign so we can share the eclat.

As a Canberran, I am a fan of the signs. They are a lovely reminder that this city is so much more than negative comments on the Internet.

You have missed the point. The signs are not designed for Canberrans, they are for tourists.

but to see them you have to be in Canberra already?
Canberra isn’t a town along the highway you have to force yourself to come here by turning off the highway.

Are they also going to install the signs along the Monaro highway down south?

The same signs have been installed on the Monaro highway just south of the Angle Crossing turn-off.
Do you honestly think that tourists are going to drive into Canberra only because of those signs?
If I ever plan a touring trip I find out as much as I can first about chosen destinations and make bookings etc. before arrival; these days it is so easy to do using the internet.
I think most other people would do the same.
It has been reported recently that most tourists who come to Canberra are overseas ones who have committed to come here so their chances of seeing the signs are remote.

gooterz 5:21 pm 17 Aug 16

dungfungus said :

madelini said :

dungfungus said :

La_Tour_Maubourg said :

A fantastic (and unique) first impression of Canberra.

………….which will be seen mostly by Canberrans.
A cardboard cutout of Andrew Barr should be attached to each sign so we can share the eclat.

As a Canberran, I am a fan of the signs. They are a lovely reminder that this city is so much more than negative comments on the Internet.

You have missed the point. The signs are not designed for Canberrans, they are for tourists.

but to see them you have to be in Canberra already?
Canberra isn’t a town along the highway you have to force yourself to come here by turning off the highway.

Are they also going to install the signs along the Monaro highway down south?

dungfungus 3:43 pm 17 Aug 16

madelini said :

dungfungus said :

La_Tour_Maubourg said :

A fantastic (and unique) first impression of Canberra.

………….which will be seen mostly by Canberrans.
A cardboard cutout of Andrew Barr should be attached to each sign so we can share the eclat.

As a Canberran, I am a fan of the signs. They are a lovely reminder that this city is so much more than negative comments on the Internet.

You have missed the point. The signs are not designed for Canberrans, they are for tourists.

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