Bumper sea­son for rail­way

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - NEWS -

The re­cent lo­cal tele­vi­sion news (Prime, Jan­uary 3) – Wal­halla Tourism Woes – re­ported on a cur­rent down­turn in Wal­halla’s ac­com­mo­da­tion book­ings in re­sponse to con­cerns made by both Rus­sell Wright (WMRTA pres­i­dent and& owner of the GreyHorse Cafe) and Michael Leaney (Baw Baw Shire ward coun­cil­lor and owner of the Star Hotel).

The in­ter­view con­firmed that some providers had full ten­an­cies and that the Wal­halla Gold­fields Rail­way had “a busy Christ­mas pe­riod”.

As board sec­re­tary of the Wal­halla Gold­fields Rail­way we agree with the con­clu­sions that the two most iconic tourism oper­a­tions in Wal­halla (the Gold­fields Rail­way and the Long Tun­nel Ex­tended Gold Mine) are do­ing well.

In fact we have bro­ken all records in ticket sales and sou­venir pur­chases at the rail­way since Box­ing Day 2018.

Wright refers to the Christ­mas re­prieve and over­all down­turn in book­ings – clearly that was lim­ited to his busi­ness.

In the De­cem­ber/Jan­uary pe­riod to date, the Wal­halla Gold­fields Rail­way has ex­pe­ri­enced a record-break­ing sea­son much to our de­light and in part due to the sup­port we have been af­forded the Baw Baw Shire Coun­cil tourism and eco­nomic devel­op­ment team and of course our favourite mar­ket­ing gu­rus at Desti­na­tion Gipp­s­land.

Vis­i­tor num­bers for these two key tourism at­trac­tions in Wal­halla’s town­ship are sig­nif­i­cantly up and show no signs of weak­en­ing.

The Wal­halla Gold­fields Rail­way re­mains the premier tourist desti­na­tion in Wal­halla and as sec­re­tary of the board, I would like to ex­tend our grat­i­tude first to our won­der­ful vol­un­teer work­force at the Wal­halla Gold­fields Rail­way and to our tourism part­ners at the Baw Baw Shire and Desti­na­tion Gipp­s­land who have all con­trib­uted to our bumper sea­son.

Come up and visit us, bring the fam­ily and ex­pe­ri­ence one of Aus­tralia’s most spec­tac­u­lar rail jour­neys for your­self.

Graeme Skin­ner, sec­re­tary Wal­halla Gold­fields Rail­way

Keep it up Baw Baw Shire and you will have very few shops and no pa­trons in the fu­ture, and don't smirk this away, as his­tory shows it can hap­pen. Michele Maes, Long­warry

It must be 7am the roar and rat­tle of dou­ble trailer trucks have com­menced their daily rit­ual of ev­ery three to five min­utes tear­ing up and down Hopetoun Rd, (and prob­a­bly other res­i­den­tial streets).

No doubt the coun­cil will give us a re­bate on our rates to help cover the ex­penses of the health ef­fects of the pol­lu­tion and stress.

Mary Gib­son, Drouin Let’s look at the ad­vert. The cap­tion – We de­liver 20,000 meals on wheels a year to those who need a help­ing hand

Plus the self pro­mot­ing words – Baw Baw Coun­cil, proudly serv­ing our com­mu­nity.

The meals ser­vice is one that is of ben­e­fit to many in our com­mu­nity – but no men­tion of the num­ber of clients.

I am sure the meals are of a high qual­ity but no men­tion of who pre­pares.

No men­tion of the num­ber of ded­i­cated vol­un­teers who keep the ser­vice op­er­at­ing.

It would be help­ful for any­one who may wish to use this ser­vice to have had con­tact in­for­ma­tion and an idea of the meal charge, which can be from $4.50 in hard­ship cases up to $16.10 full cost. Cur­rently the Depart­ment of Health rec­om­mended fee for meals is $8.70.

And as to fund­ing, try and find the net cost to ratepay­ers for this pro­gram from the pub­lished bud­get pa­pers. There is a gov­ern­ment sub­sidy of $3.23 per meal which might just cover the ad­min­is­tra­tive over­heads.

Fi­nally, the cap­tion re­fer­ring to 20,000 meals a year is not ac­cu­rate. It may well be cor­rect for the last year of the ser­vice - fi­nan­cial year or cal­en­dar year is not stated. In the 2016/17 fi­nan­cial year 300 coun­cil vol­un­teers pro­vided 24,890 meals on wheels to 377 clients. Why are the num­bers in de­cline?

Don McLean, War­ragul

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