Destination Tweed faces axe for failing to attract growth

Bill Tatchell has defended Destination Tweed's performance.
Bill Tatchell has defended Destination Tweed's performance. John Gass /TWE190112tatchell

DESTINATION Tweed may fold after a scathing report to be presented to Tweed Shire councillors this week.

Council general manager David Keenan has prepared a report for the next council meeting recommending a change to the relationship between Destination Tweed and the council.

Mr Keenan attacked the organisation on its performance in attracting economic activity.

"Unemployment levels remain above the state and national averages," Mr Keenan said in the report.

"The Tweed labour force has not grown significantly over the past three years, although population has.

"There have been a few new businesses that have come to the Tweed Shire in the last three years and very few local businesses have expanded over that period of time."

Tweed Shire Council contracts Destination Tweed to attract business and investment, manage tourist information centres and develop and implement tourism strategies.

Mr Keenan said in the report that no other local council in NSW outsourced economic development functions.

One option from the report that the council will consider is the termination of the contract with Destination Tweed.

"Many local governments seek to have their economic development, including tourism and major events supported by an Economic Development Advisory Committee," Mr Keenan said in the report.

Councillor Warren Polglase was a long-time critic of Destination Tweed.

"I think there was some concerns raised in the economic development from the community," Cr Polglase said.

"There is more of a need to push economic development.

"When businesses come to the Tweed they want to talk to council and presently they don't do that."

Destination Tweed chief executive officer Bill Tatchell said he was aware that a report was going to the council and he was drafting a letter for councillors.

"We haven't been consulted on the report at all," Mr Tatchell said.

"From our perspective there are a number of comments and statements (in the report) that we think are not accurate."

Mr Tatchell said Destination Tweed was contracted to attract business, not for economic development.

The contract between the council and Destination Tweed is about $1 million.

Topics:  destination tweed tweed shire council

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