Casual role in tourism extended

THE position of the casual co-ordinator of Bellingen’s Waterfall Way Visitor Information Centre has been extended, but only after heated debate.

At Thursday’s council meeting the Director of Corporate Services, Peter Wilson, argued that as council had just commenced discussions with the neighbouring Coffs Harbour and Nambucca councils about the possibility of a shared tourism strategy it made sense to keep the casual co-ordinator in place.

“I don’t expect that report will be finalising until September,” Mr Wilson said.

But Councillor Bruce Cronin was passionate in his opposition to the idea.

“I absolutely and emphatically object to extending the term of the casual co-ordinator,” Cr Cronin said.

“In reality we are going down the path of a permanent position when what we need is a visitor centre run by volunteers. A paid co-ordinator is not a required position,” he said.

“If we need to extend funding for tourism then maybe the beneficiaries of tourism should be forced to pay up,” he said.

The council eventually voted 5-2 to extend the co-ordinators position until December 31, 2010.

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