TUCKED AWAY: The Warwick Visitor Information Centre is located in a small room of the Town Hall.
TUCKED AWAY: The Warwick Visitor Information Centre is located in a small room of the Town Hall.

Relocation flagged for Warwick Visitor Information Centre

A NEW $5 million Visitor Information Centre could be on the cards for Warwick after the Southern Downs Regional Council applied for funding through the State Government Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

The location of the VIC has been a source of contention since it moved to the Town Hall in 2017, with visitors complaining of poor accessibility, loss of visibility from the highway and limited parking.

Former Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie advocated for the VIC to move from the Warwick Art Gallery to the heritage-listed building in an effort to bring more visitors into the middle of town.

Volunteer Tony Rogers said he would love to see the centre relocated to somewhere it could move in line with the beauty and convenience of the VIC at Quart Pot Creek in Stanthorpe, which has its own cafe for visitors.

“It could definitely be more inviting, we have a lot of young ones walk in and then walk right out again,” Mr Rogers said.

“Some people say parking is a bit of a pain, especially if they’ve come in a caravan, and before the Covid restrictions it could get a bit cramped in here, too.”

Mr Rogers said visitors didn’t seem to have much of a problem finding the centre, and he welcomed an average of 30 people each day.

“At the end of the day, it’s done a pretty good job here, it just needs more room,” he said.

“As soon as you get more than a couple of people in here you can’t hear anything because there’s so much going on.”

Councillors voted to endorse the relocation project as part of the five projects submitted to the State Government earlier this year.

Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said the project had landed on the councillors’ “wish list” after the March election.

“The idea was brought to council by one of the new councillors who was very connected to that part of the community, and had received feedback suggesting the VIC is not located where it should be,” Cr Pennisi said.

“We want to go through a process of formally identifying whether the community would be supportive, what the advantages would be, and where it would be better located.

“We need to build a business case, and if at the end of the day we see there is a benefit we need to look for more funding opportunities to do that.”

Should it be approved, construction would have to start quickly as the funding dictates all projects would need to be completed by June 22.

The Daily News reached out to the SDRC for further updates regarding the grant, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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