Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Council communicat­ion continues

- By Rohan Aldous

Murray River and Campaspe councils will attempt to align community events to attract tourists to the region for more than overnight stays.

A diverse range of subjects were included on an almost three hour long agenda for members of the two councils, the meeting this time held at Echuca Workers Club after the initial meeting of the two had been hosted on the NSW side of the border.

The cross-council meetings have been scheduled bi-monthly by senior executives of both local government authoritie­s.

Tourism statistics from only last month revealed the healthy status of Echuca-Moama as an overnight destinatio­n, but both councils are keen to extend the stays of visitors by coordinati­ng events to be held over two and threeday periods.

“If there is a market on for example and another event is held the next day we are a better chance to keep those visitors here for an extra night,” Murray River Council chief executive officer Terry Dodds said.

Mr Dodds said the cross-council meetings were targeted at finding resolution­s that benefited the entire region, not just a particular council.

He said an example was the electrical charging station strategy, a joint initiative of the councils to ensure there were enough ports for the tourists who had electrical vehicles.

“Our discussion wasn’t so much about council supplying these stations, more being the facilitato­r to see there were enough available for visitors to use,” Mr Dodds said.

“Our councils need to become the conductor of the orchestra for things like this, instead of being at the back as the drummer.”

Among the apologies at the meeting was an ill Campaspe Shire chief executive officer Declan Moore.

Mr Dodds said, overall, the amount of business went up quite substantia­lly.

“The amount of interest resulting from the previous minutes and potential list of things we could do together created a very positive vibe,” he said.

“There is a realisatio­n that there are a lot more benefits to both communitie­s with our councils becoming more involved in one another’s activities.”

Mr Dodds said he could see great reward from little effort and said the business conducted was probably 30 per cent more than the first meeting, in less time.

“It was a very effective and efficient use of three hours,” he said.

Both councils appear aligned on the heavy vehicle transport route through Echuca and

Moama, along with the two state transport organisati­ons and trucking companies.

An update was provided on the Meninya St project, along with informatio­n about a soon to be available virtual reality tour of the street, in 3D, supplied by a landscape architect engaged to provide an impression of how the street could look once the redevelopm­ent is complete.

Councils are planning to create a high-level memorandum of understand­ing to create a brand for advertisin­g vacant positions within the shire structures.

“It is beneficial to both councils to join forces and advertise the wider region,” Mr Dodds said.

“Councils are unable to co-employ staff, due to differing state regulation­s, but could offer a joint contract for projects that benefits both.”

Campaspe council offered an update on the Campaspe Port Enterprise Committee, but still no word on a general manager.

Campaspe Shire’s frustratio­n over moorings along the Murray River was on the agenda, asking for assistance in dealing with the various authoritie­s it is required to liaise with.

Formal waste management and indoor sports projects were discussed, along with an integratio­n of the walking, cycling and jogging circuits with the Meninya St project to allow a loop from bridge to bridge.

There will be a presentati­on by aviation company Sky Ports at the next meeting to discuss sky taxi services to the region.

“The amount of interest resulting from the previous minutes and potential list of things we could do together created a very positive vibe.” — Terry Dodds

 ?? ?? Working together: Terry and Fiona Dodds at one of the gala events he says could mean extended stays for tourists to the area, if Murray River and Campapse can align their events calendars.
Working together: Terry and Fiona Dodds at one of the gala events he says could mean extended stays for tourists to the area, if Murray River and Campapse can align their events calendars.

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