More time for tourism merger

Cr Denise Ingram
Cr Denise Ingram

DESPITE receiving positive feedback about a move to merge local tourism bodies in Stanthorpe and Warwick into one organisation the plan will not be implemented for at least another four months.

A consultants' report recommending the merger of Warwick Tourism and Events and Granite Belt Wine Tourism was put on the table at yesterday's meeting of the council's planning and environment committee.

Cr Denise Ingram said the tourism plan had the support of the public.

"I've had lots of feedback and a lot of it has been positive," she said.

Mayor Peter Blundell said the public wanted more time to view the documents.

He moved the report and supporting documents be released to the public and that they have three weeks to send in written responses and recommendations.

But the mayor was unable to gain the majority vote.

Cr Vic Pennisi, who admitted he did not support the action plan, offered an alternative which won the vote.

Cr Pennisi disagreed with the original report which listed several councillors as being on the committee.

"No councillors should be on the committee," he said.

His plan is to create a separate advisory board over the coming two months.

"The advisory committee will be made up of stakeholders chosen by the council from expressions of interest," Cr Pennisi said.

An independent chairman will also be chosen.

"It is important the chairman is independent," he said.

The advisory board will then be given a further two months to discuss any recommendations they wish to make to council.

Community Services director Tony Minuti said too many changes could have a negative impact on the action plan.

"The independent (consultant) has given us a package deal," he said.

"This is what they feel to be the best possible solution.

"If it is changed that might not be reached."

Cr Pennisi said the documents would still be made public.

Cr Jo McNally said it was important the public read the background report.

"It contains all the feedback gathered," she said.

Topics:  stanthorpe tourism warwick

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