Tourism in­quiry comes to Mans­field

Won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity to show­case high coun­try

Mansfield Courier - - OPINIONS/PEOPLE -

‘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.

PHOTO: Judy Dixon

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...

PHOTO: RIchard Jago

MEET THE POL­LIES: At Mans­field on Fri­day were (from left) John Pan­da­zopou­los, Cr Russ Bate, Mayor Ray Robin­son, Jo Dun­can and David Koch.

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