Council to consider final steps in new model for Ballarat Tourism
City of Ballarat – Media Release – Date: Friday 3 August, 2012
The City of Ballarat Councillors will consider the agreements to bring effect to the establishment of Ballarat Regional Tourism as a standalone organisation at Wednesday’s Ordinary Council meeting.
The City of Ballarat voted in January 2012 to establish Ballarat Regional Tourism as a not-for-profit incorporated association with a skills based board.
The organisation has been operating as a division of Council but governed by a skills based board since January. Council’s consideration of the operating model would bring the separation of the organisation to fruition.
Should Council approve the MOU and Service Level Agreement, the arrangements for BRT to operate as a standalone organisation would come into effect on 1 October 2012.
Mayor Mark Harris said the City of Ballarat is a strong supporter of the tourism industry in Ballarat and the broader region.
“This new arrangement will enable the industry to really be the masters of their own future”.
“Council will continue to strongly support BRT and fund the organisation, but the industry will have a greater role and responsibility in the development of tourism campaigns and product for Ballarat and the broader region”.
“This is yet another example of Council’s leadership role for the region. The new arrangement will enable BRT to attract a greater level of external funding and to act in the interests of the region”.
The City of Ballarat’s annual contribution to BRT will be $3.45 million to support an organisation and industry that delivers $577 million into the Ballarat economy.
Chair of Ballarat Regional Tourism Stuart Benjamin said Ballarat’s tourism sector is strong and mature and ready to take its leadership from within.
“Clearly the sector is ready to step up and take tourism growth to the next level.
“This move is also sanctioned by Tourism Victoria, which is putting in place Regional Tourism Boards across the State. All of which are private sector led.
“This move reduces Council’s exposure and provides a more equitable membership model, greater accountability and the ability of BRT to take on a more active role in investment attraction. This is appropriate, as who knows what our industry needs better than those whose livelihoods are linked to it?”
“The growth of Ballarat’s tourism industry is in our hands now and I can’t think of a more promising future,” Mr Benjamin said.