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Outback at Isa Hard Times Mine Tour – 100,000th Visitor!

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Outback at Isa Hard Times Mine Tour - 100,000th Visitor!

Yesterday 1pm, history was made. Outback at Isa's Hard Time Mine hosted its 100,000th person on the tour. 

Planning was difficult, timing was everything and the scene was set. The entire party of 20 visitors on today's tour, with their guide Steve, had no idea of the milestone they were about to help celebrate. Staff, guides, founders of the Hard Times Mine, the Mount Isa Mayor, State member for QLD, Mining executives, business owners and local celebrities waited in the crib room, our tour participants unaware. As the tour approached on foot, lights from the cap lamps emerged from the darkness into the crib room to be greeted by applause. Stunned - were they thinking that this happens on every tour? "Wow, this mob really does put on a show!" 

Our special guests lined the walls as the group made their way into the crib room, decorated top to toe. The tour settled into their seats …  "Welcome - we are all here to celebrate a truly amazing milestone - one of you is the 100,00th person to participate in this tour!" Applause erupted and the cheering gave us all goose bumps. Mayor, Joyce McCulloch, talked about how important tourism is to our city and the huge impact that Mount Isa Mines has had on making the Hard Times Mine Tour experience what it is today. Through teary eyes, she gave credit to all involved, from one man's dream to what it is today. The guide for the day, Steve Carson, took to the to the stage (an old pallet). Steve (who volunteers on his days off from working underground) was not only instrumental in the whole process, but he also held the very first tour on the 1st March 2004. He introduced Ron McCullough, the man of the moment, the man who said what he wanted to create, shared his vision amongst a sea of people and was told it was impossible … the disbelievers!   

What a way to prove them wrong…. 12 years and 100,000 people later, we are here! 

He then announced that very person.  "PETE LOCK, you are the 100,000th person - could you please come forward." … again applause, again goose bumps. I can't get enough of this! 

Pete, visiting from NSW, was presented with a number of special, exclusive gifts from (or by??) Denis Hemel, Executive General Manager QLD Zinc Assets, Glencore. State Member for Mount Isa, Robbie Katter, also thanked the community, and all involved and spoke about his continuing support for the venture. Thank you to the film crew, the media, the celebrities - thanks, Shaz, MKR Grand Finalist and to the Mount Isa Ambassador for supplying the bubbly! Also Totally Workwear for the personalised underground mining shirt to commemorate the event. 

You know what, at this point, I'm like a proud ole mamma bear…. what a team, what an event, what a moment! Heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you. The thousands of hours of combined voluntary work, the blood, sweat and tears, it is something that the whole community is proud of. Many thanks to you all.

Kylie Rixon
Tourism Manager
Outback at Isa 

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