Community currency keeps the dollars local

Baroon Dollar

The newly created Baroon dollar, a form of community currency for Queensland's Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

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One in all in

The potential benefits of the Baroon Dollar have enjoyed a positive response throughout the region. Nearly 300 residents have already pledged their support via the official website and the AICC hope to secure the involvement of around 50 businesses offering goods and services to the region.

"We're taking the butcher, baker, candlestick-maker approach," Mitchell said.

As well as accepting the currency as payment, a number of local businesses will act as issuing points, where the public can buy the notes. Approximately $B50,000 will enter into circulation at the start of the first phase, in denominations ranging from $B1 to $B20, with each Baroon Dollar worth the equivalent of $A1.

Paul and Fern Veit, a retired couple living in Maleny, are both enthusiastic advocates of the scheme and intend to favour businesses that accept the currency.

"There's a global realisation that the way business is conducted has changed and needs to change further," Paul said. "The Baroon Dollar is a fresh way of helping to create economic prosperity within communities. Less food miles are good for the local economy and the planet, and supporting small and medium sized businesses adds choice."

With a high proportion of people engaged in creative industries and a rich history of locals working together in co-operatives, Darren Mitchell thinks the area is a perfect launch pad for such a scheme.

"We've kind of been the poor cousin of the more commercial coastal developments," he said, "but we're hoping this will bring our community together to work collaboratively. It's about bringing back a sense of identity."

The Baroon Dollar will launch in August 2009.

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