Tourism inquiry comes to Mansfield
Wonderful opportunity to showcase high country
‘A PROACTIVE approach is needed to unlock Victoria’s tourism potential as it relates to investment opportunities on public land’ was a consistent message given at a public hearing in Mansfield of the State Parliament’s Heritage and Ecotourism Inquiry last Friday.
The Environment and Natural Resources Committee heard evidence in relation to the inquiry terms of reference, from a range of invited speakers including Cr Russell Bate and deputy manager Tourism and Economic Development, Judy Dixon, Sara Quon, CEO of Tourism North East, Graeme Stoney on behalf of Mansfield Historical Society, Mountain Cattlemen Association and Merrijig Community Hall, and Michael Watson from Adventure Victoria.
The committee al s o heard from representatives of Goulburn River Valley Tourism and Murrindindi Shire Council.
Mansfield mayor Ray Robinson attended a dinner with the committee on the night preceding the hearing and said they were all impressed with their field trip to Sheepyard Flat and up to The Bluff.
“I think we gave them a lot to see and think about,” Cr Robinson said.
“Experiencing the distances and the rewarding views of our magnificent high country gives them an insight into both the opportunities and challenges associated with developing appropriate tourism product for the experience seeker market,” he said.
“There’s no doubt they are impressed with Mansfield – from the views to the food.”
Council had previously put a written submission to the inquiry and were recently advised of a change of venue from a Melbourne based hearing to Mansfield.
Recommendations from Mansfield Shire Council included:
access to a regional funding stream targeted toward public investment on public land to progress development of appropriate small scale for high yield tourism investment opportunities of significance in Alpine National Park;
increasing public land management resources (labor and capital) on t he ground, at the local level, in recognition of the considerable ecotourism and heritage tourism values of the land;
establishing a pilot program f or Mansfield l ocal t ourism operators (LTOs) that delivers greater LTO access to Alpine National Park management tracks balanced with an i ncreased l evel of LTO involvement in track planning;
maintenance and visitor interpretation/education and a commitment by State Government to advocate for and where possible; and
deliver on telecommunications in Mansfield Shire at comparable performance level to Melbourne and regional cities.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to have a bipartisan committee together to see first-hand what we have on offer and to hear from local business and community about the potential for development for heritage and ecotourism,” Cr Robinson said.
The committee, which has a high success rate of its recommendations being supported and supported in principle, will release its final report to the Victorian Parliament in the coming months.
HIGH COUNTRY TOURING: The Environment and Natural Resources Committee were given a tour of the high country prior to their inquiry hearing on Friday including (from left) Michael Watson of Adventure Victoria, Bart Smith ranger in charge, King Howqua...
MEET THE POLLIES: At Mansfield on Friday were (from left) John Pandazopoulos, Cr Russ Bate, Mayor Ray Robinson, Jo Duncan and David Koch.