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From the Canberra Times

Canberra Come Back parody calls for visitors to return to South Coast after fires

Batemans Bay businesses have taken the task of luring visitors back to the South Coast into their own hands by singing a love song, Canberra Come Back.

JJ’s at The Marina owner Jacob Crooke wanted to take a light-hearted approach to convincing Canberrans to spend some money with fire affected towns.

“There’s a lot of negativity around. People are going through loss, trauma and grief,” he said.

“Normally at this time of year you would have hundreds of thousands of people around. This year it’s almost eerie.”

He was singing the ’70s rock tune Baby Come Back by Player to himself one morning when the inspiration struck to write a parody version. He quickly penned some lyrics and handed them to his 16-year-old protege Joel Ware.

A musician friend sang the catchy lyrics while Joel set about shooting footage around Batemans Bay on his iPhone. He roped in Eurobodalla mayor Liz Innes, 2EC presenter Kimmi Saker and local workers to beckon visitors.

Joel spent about 30 hours editing the footage on his iPad before sharing it on the JJ’s at The Marina Facebook page. It’s been shared more than 300 times.

“It is a bit of a love song. We do love Canberra.”

Fishmongers sing along to Canberra Come Back.

Mr Crooke said the town was already picking up on Saturday morning, with the weekly parkrun attendance increasing threefold since the previous week.

“You can really notice when there’s more people and you see Canberra number plates.”

The restaurateur said it was an ever decreasing minority of South Coast residents who didn’t appreciate the influx of tourists over the summer.

He said the business community was coming up with creative ways to kick-start tourism, including the Love the Bay campaign, ideas for festivals and gift cards.

Mr Crooke wouldn’t rule out doing another song, but it had to come from the heart.

He said the best thing Canberrans could do to help was to come and spend their money all along the South Coast, especially during the week. Businesses, from supermarkets to boutiques, would be there to welcome visitors with open arms.