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.
Organisers of the Challenge Shepparton triathlon will donate half the entry fees from entrants in the ‘community team challenge’ to the Community Fund Goulburn Valley.
Jake Thompson has an eagle eye and a steady hand and he put both to good use recently when he won the U15 Australian Snooker Championships, held in Adelaide.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
THIS year’s Winter Blues Festival is just around the corner — kicking off for the first time on a Thursday at the Star Hotel, American Hotel and Antonio’s on the Port.
ROCHESTER went sugar free for the day on Thursday for National Diabetes Week, with the inaugural Great Sugar Free Bake Off.
Elle Groves will achieve a remarkable milestone this week, in what is already a remarkable A grade netball career with Kyabram, when she steps onto the court on Saturday for her 100th game.
Local export Willie Wheeler dominating at VFL level
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
ONCE in a while some people are lucky enough to stumble across their destiny.
Moira Shire welcomed 25 new citizens on Thursday as people from across the world chose to make Australia their home.
Mathoura endured a harsh hammering to its playing confidence on Saturday with a 24-goal thrashing at the hands of Deniliquin Rovers.
SPC will abolish its internal sales team and reduce executive numbers in the latest chapter of the company’s ongoing restructuring.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
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.