TPDD chief blasts Billy’s crocs advice
BILLY Gordon has drawn the ire of chief executive of Tourism Port Douglas Daintree, Tara Bennett, who told the
this week that beaches in the Douglas Shire were one of the major drawcards of the region, and not to be upstaged by the Gold Coast.
“I’m perplexed why Billy Gordon as our regional representative would be directing people to another part of Queensland,” said Ms Bennett.
Last week the reported Mr Gordon had suggested holiday-makers seeking the traditional beach experience should go to the Gold Coast, citing the Department of Environment and Heritage Protections (DEHP) advice to keep away from waterways in places like the Douglas Shire.
He said Douglas Shire couldn’t be everything to everyone and avoiding the waterways wouldn’t be so much of a drawback, suggesting that though Port Douglas and the region had its strengths, as an “iconic oceanside tourist desti- nation” where swimming was the star attraction, the Gold Coast was a better option.
But Ms Bennett had the numbers to counter that argument. “I completely dispute that because our surveying shows that beaches are one of the key drivers for people coming to our destination.
“When you think about the beaches on offer that he’s comparing in the Gold Coast, it’s particularly why families love coming up to our region.
“Because we’re inside the reef – our beaches are incredibly safe as far as tides and rips go, and it’s why people love to spend days at the beach basically with their families.”
On the DEHP, Ms Bennett said their blanket advice of staying clear of the water to avoid crocs – was “chilling.”
“They’re working on zero risk. I think people need to be educated and make their own risk assessment.
“The beaches are one of the key reasons people visit our destination and they have been enjoying them for many years.”