Councillors give Destination Tweed thumbs up

DESTINATION Tweed has won the fight to maintain its management of tourism services and promotion of the region for business investment.

At Thursday night's council meeting councillors voted to continue its contract with the council.

Tweed mayor Barry Longland confirmed the council's resolve to maintain the status quo with Destination Tweed.

"It's the way forward," he told My Daily News.

"Councillors considered all options in the general manager's report and decided to continue the contract.

He said there was a need to enhance collaboration between the organisation and the council to achieve the best outcomes for the economy and for tourism in the shire.

Cr Warren Polglase voted against continuing the contract, claiming Destination Tweed lacks the economic development clout for the task.

"I'm disappointed with the decision," he said.

"Destination Tweed doesn't have the resources and the know-how to be involved in economy development.

"This area requires specialist skills and Destination Tweed leans heavily towards tourism, not economic development.

"We need an advisory committee made up of people with a solid economic background with the business skills needed in these tough economic times."

Spokeswoman for Destination Tweed Karen Ransome said the recent process together with comments made by some councillors at last night's meeting indicated a perception that Destination Tweed was responsible for the shire's economic development activities.

"We really need to clarify that Destination Tweed is not, and never has been, contracted to manage economic development on behalf of the region," she said.

"A small percentage of our budget from the council - approximately 17% - is allocated to marketing the region to attract business investment.

"All economic development functions are the responsibility of Tweed Shire Council and are managed by their staff in-house."

Destination Tweed's chair Anne Duke said she was pleased with the outcome of last night's vote.

"We have been overwhelmed by the supportive feedback we have received from tourism and business operators all over the shire since the general manager's report into the future responsibility for the delivery of tourism services and economic development was released last week."

Topics:  destination tweed

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