Tourism body funding reduced

David Braithwaite

WELLINGTON Shire Council will reduce the amount of money contributed to Central Gippsland Tourism.

Council and CGT will enter into a new memorandum of understanding, with council to provide $35,000 for the next 12 months for tourism marketing and promotion of the shire.

During the same period, council to match dollar-for-dollar any additional funding CGT attracts from the tourism industry or grants, up to $15,000.

Because of concerns key points of the current memorandum weren’t being reached, council was looking reduce the amount of funding it provides annually from $97,000 to $5000 for administrative support.

The $92,000 would instead be directed to council’s broader ‘Middle of Everywhere’ campaign, aimed at attracting new residents and businesses, as well as tourists.

In December, council opted to delay a decision, pending more discussions with CGT.

The CGT board predominately consists of local people operating accommodation, hospitality or tourism-related businesses.

Hearing council was considering reallocating most of the funding, members were concerned with the short notice they had before December’s meeting to state their case.

The new memorandum, beginning April 1, will outline key performance measures required for this funding.

The agreement will support and align with the Middle of Everywhere campaign.

Councillor Carolyn Crossley said following a review of its marketing budget, council wanted to broaden its target audience through the Middle of Everywhere campaign.

Cr Crossley said the campaign worked well alongside Destination Gippsland’s ‘Gipps ‘all kinds of wonder’ Land’ and CGT’s ‘Our Hidden Gem’ campaigns.

“We’re still really supportive of the work that Central Gippsland Tourism does,” she said.

Destination Gippsland receives $34,000 annually from council, which has also made an additional $30,000 payment to support the organisation’s post-bushfire marketing.