Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Interim Administrator Viv May will establish a full-day roundtable discussion on 25 June 2021 to review the Shire’s recently adopted Destination Strategy.
Mr May committed to reviewing the document following approaches from the community.
“I understand that the Southern Highlands Destination Strategy was only adopted last November,” he said. “But the fact remains that the document remains controversial.”
“I believe the roles of tourism and economic development, while related, require different approaches.
“This review will allow Council to better understand these differences and the subsequent skill set required for both portfolios.”
The Southern Highlands Destination Strategy 2020-2030 was prepared, placed on public exhibition and ultimately adopted by Council on 11 November 2020. The focus of the ten-year strategy is stated as working with existing and emerging industry partners to attract and create new job opportunities that add long-term value to the Shire’s economy.
Mr May said he was concerned that there were potentially too many ‘voices’ seeking to represent the economic dynamic of the Shire and that the responsible department appeared to operate remotely from Council.
“To ensure a broad cross-section of representatives from across the Shire’s respective business bodies, an independently facilitated roundtable has been arranged to listen to all views,” he said. “Everybody at the table will have equal input, including any employees the General Manager may select.”
“The key focus will be to facilitate appropriate future economic growth across the Highlands.”
The Interim Administrator said the roundtable discussion will involve up to 20 people with local knowledge and expertise. It will also include presentations from two NSW-based regional councils deemed to excel in economic development management.
“To this end I am seeking nominations from appropriately qualified persons to join the discussions,” he said.
“Suspended or former councillors need not apply,” Mr May stressed. “Nor should prospective candidates for September’s Local Government elections or their agents.”
“The politics and personalities have to stop,” Mr May said. “It is imperative the best interests of the entire Highlands community are properly represented and put first.”
Community representatives wishing to apply for the Economic Development Roundtable Workshop can email Mr May direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations for community representative applications close 5.00pm Thursday 11 June 2021.