Tourism being ignored

THE Tweed's tourism boss yesterday launched a withering attack on councillors and council staff for failing to support its local tourism body.

Giving evidence at the inquiry into council, Terry Watson said council had shown no interest in managing local tourism, despite it being the secondbiggest economy in the shire.

He accused councillor John Murray and general manager John Griffin of consistently trying to undermine tourism body Tweed Coolangatta Tourism Incorporated.

He said council had only ever "thrown money over the fence and told them to do something with tourism", despite councillors Bernie Bell and Bob Brinsmead serving on TACTIC's board.

"We have tried numerous times to engage them in a strategic approach to tourism and we really got no interest," he said.

"There are a lot of different agendas councillors have in relation to TACTIC."

Mr Watson claimed Cr Murray had worked against them since he stopped serving on the tourism board because of a licensing dispute.

He said in the 90s Dr Griffin had told TACTIC he thought council shouldn't be supporting tourism.

"He has been consistent with that ever since."

Mr Watson said tourism was in a precarious state in the Tweed and needed guidance, otherwise there would be cannibalisation among the thousands of tourist beds on offer.

"You can't expect the industry to sort itself out, because it never has anywhere else," he said.

Later Cr Bell fired back, claiming results showed TACTIC had council support.

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