Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

“WHEN we stood as Tourism Whit­sun­days on our own, we were so strong as an in­dus­try, be­ing able to lobby solely... on what tourism needed.“

Th­ese were the words of for­mer Whit­sun­days Mar­ket­ing and De­vel­op­ment act­ing CEO Danielle Krista who last week, put for­ward a mo­tion on be­half of Cruise Whit­sun­days, that WMDL’s tourism and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment func­tions split.

The mo­tion, voted for in a meet­ing at­tended al­most en­tirely by lo­cal tourism oper­a­tors, read: “that the WMDL con­sti­tu­tion be amended to re-es­tab­lish the or­gan­i­sa­tion as a solely tourism fo­cused or­gan­i­sa­tion and re-named ‘Tourism Whit­sun­days’.”

It went on to say the ap­pro­pri­ate clauses of WMDL’s con­sti­tu­tion were to be iden­ti­fied by a lawyer and an in­dus­try work­ing group (com­prised from the cur­rent tourism and busi­ness events strate­gic ad­vi­sory groups) then pre­sented and voted on by mem­bers at a gen­eral meet­ing to be held by March 1.

The work­ing group will be asked to draft a busi­ness, fi­nan­cial and mar­ket­ing plan, also for vot­ing on by mem­bers.

While there was some con­cern raised over the fu­ture of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s eco­nomic side, a sug­ges­tion from Ms Krista for a sep­a­rate mo­tion re­gard­ing the for­ma­tion of an eco­nomic tran­si­tion team was not pur­sued by any­one present.

At yes­ter­day’s Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil meet­ing in Bowen a mo­tion that WMDL’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment func­tion be im­me­di­ately moved “in house” to coun­cil was re­jected.

In­stead, Cr Jan Clifford pro- posed the mat­ter be tabled pend­ing an emer­gency meet­ing on Fri­day in­volv­ing the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment team and the gen­eral meet­ing of mem­bers on March 1.

This mo­tion was passed by five votes to one, with Cr John Collins against and Mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney ab­stain­ing due to her po­si­tion on the cur­rent WMDL board.

IN MO­TION: WMDL's for­mer act­ing CEO Danielle Krista holds a mo­tion put for­ward on be­half of Cruise Whit­sun­days for WMDL's tourism and eco­nomic func­tions to split.

IN WRIT­ING: Julie Sladek frames the mo­tion on the white­board be­hind for­mer WMDL chair­man Jim El­der and board mem­ber Mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney.

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