Cobram Barooga Business and Tourism Development group president Paul Gemmill attacks 'mixed messages' from Moira Shire Council.TONI BRIENT May 9, 2014 3:47am
Uncertain future: Cobram Barooga Business and Tourism Development group urges Moira Shire Council to make a decision on Cobram Barooga Visitor Information Centre staff salaries.
Cobram Barooga Business and Tourism Development group chairman Paul Gemmill has slammed Moira Shire Council’s inaction and ‘‘mixed messages’’ on tourism and business.
Mr Gemmill said a ‘‘lack of communication inside the organisation’’ and ‘‘lack of leadership at the top’’ were delaying the tourism sector restructure process, which began last year following the dissolution of the Sun Country on the Murray tourism board.
The change required local tourism associations like CBBTD to prepare business plans before accessing council funding, and handed management of visitor information centres back to the associations.
Mr Gemmill said he was ‘‘disappointed’’ the group had only received a ‘‘vague’’ letter in response to its business plan, submitted to council in March, and with ‘‘hearsay and innuendo’’ spread by council in the media.
He said council had also failed to supply the group with financial statements for the Cobram Barooga Visitor Information Centre to assist in the preparation of the business plan.
Announcing council’s draft 2014-15 budget last week, Moira Shire Mayor Peter Mansfield said council would consider paying the salaries of staff who continued to work in visitor information centres.
‘‘If Peter Mansfield is saying he wants to pay staff, we’re ecstatic,’’ Mr Gemmill said.
‘‘I would hope as mayor he would have some strong convictions, but I would hope that conviction came from something substantial and something tangible, but in saying that, we have not been in that discussion.
‘‘We were just as surprised as anyone out there when we read that.’’
Mr Gemmill would not say how much funding in the business plan was allocated for visitor information centre staff salaries, but said the funds would be redirected to events and promotion if council paid the salaries.
He said CBBTD and the other local tourism associations were feeling left out of discussions about the sector’s future, and wanted answers from council.
‘‘We’re on the same page, Yarrawonga (local tourism association) is on the same page — the shire is reading a different book,’’ Mr Gemmill said.
Moira Shire business and innovation executive manager Bruce Connolly this week reiterated his previous statement that visitor information centre staff would be re-deployed in other positions within council if their positions at the centres were lost.
Mr Connolly also said he had met with CBBTD twice since the group submitted its business plan, and said he had ‘‘a number of conversations’’ with Mr Gemmill on the issue.
The business plans are expected to be finalised by June 30.
Seymour's Zamorar will be looking to repeat his last-start win at Flemington a fortnight ago when he races in the United Refrigeration Handicap at Moonee Valley.
Yarrawonga Football Netball Club senior footballer Jeremy O’Brien celebrated his 200th senior Ovens and Murray Football Netball League game against the Wodonga Bulldogs on Saturday.
Following a concerted effort by Merrigum Community Group to upgrade signage in the town, it was announced at last Monday’s community meeting that design of a new information sign, to be located near the bus shelter in Waverley Ave, has been completed.
As part of the construction of the new Echuca-Moama bridge, a $4.5 million roundabout will be built at the Murray Valley Hwy and Warren St intersection.
The $9 million upgrade to the Rochester water reclamation plant is complete.
100 days at Tongala Primary.
Nagambie Primary School students - and budding green thumbs - have produced something truly special.
St Joseph's Jerilderie teacher Steve Jones has released an album with his band, Steve Jones and The Velvet Glove.
About 80 people attended Friday's community meeting at Heathcote RSL to discuss concerns about exposure to industrial antimony.
Black Dog ride participants meet up in Cobram before they burn rubber to beat the blues.
Deniliquin's Les Bond won the Deniliquin RSL Club's membership draw winner last Friday.
Wheat crops sown at the end of April to mid-May were two to three weeks early, increasing the risk of frost damage, the Finley Discussion Group’s meetings earlier this month heard.
A Benalla couple is hosting a 'Drawtism' event to raise money for Autism Spectrum Australia.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.