Tuesday 2 June 2015
Bega Valley Shire Council has issued a clarification following recent media reports claiming the organisation is going it alone by turning its back on a regional inland group of councils.
Mayor, Michael Britten said it was important to understand that through local tourism group, Sapphire Coast Tourism, Council did participate in the recent Canberra Region brand launch and has clearly indicated its support of continued involvement in the project.
“This project has great potential for the local area and we will continue to participate actively in the program and its projects,” he said.
“We recognise the project as a valuable tourism driver for the area and we have been a key player in fostering relationships and engaging with the ACT government, Canberra tourism and the Canberra Airport.
“With this in mind we will continue to be involved in the program and further develop beneficial relationships with the ACT.
“This means we support the Canberra Joint Organisation for economic and tourism growth, but at this stage we are waiting to see how the smaller joint organisations as recommended in the 2014 Local Government Review will be formed.
“We believe that our current observer status in the larger Canberra Joint Organisation provides us with opportunities to maximise tourism and economic potential whilst waiting for the final structure to be announced.
“We don’t want to pour significant funds and resources into joining a regional organisation without prior clarification of the final structure.
“To us it makes more sense to wait for the outcome of current state government processes and work on the next stage once we have full clarification of the joint organisation structure.
“In the interim, Council is working with the Office of Local Government, our neighbouring councils and the existing regional organisations to ensure that we make the right decision at the right time. Projects are underway with both coastal and inland councils and these will continue and develop.
“Our decision will reflect the expectations of the local community whilst considering how we can contribute on a regional level.
“Until a decision is made we will continue to be involved in projects and planning with all appropriate bodies,” Cr Britten said.