Taree Business Chamber has insisted the motion to rescind the endorsed ‘Barrington Coast’ destination name at last week’s MidCoast Council meeting “represents a failure of leadership by a number of our region’s elected representatives.”
With the motion in place, councillors will have to wait until the August 22 meeting in Taree to address the issue.
Taree Business Chamber president John Stevens said the delay of the process puts local businesses under threat and deprives them of support from council.
“Our community needs its councillors, as their elected representatives, to champion the plan that they unanimously approved rather than hold it up for the sake of populist politics,” Mr Stevens said.
“Prominent stakeholders from the tourism and business sectors were briefed shortly prior to council’s decision and given the alternatives presented were in favour of ‘Barrington Coast.’”
The issue warranted heavy discussion from the community both online and at the council meeting on July 25.
A name will be eventually confirmed to represent the local government area for tourism purposes as part of council’s Destination Management Plan (DMP).
Taree Business Chamber demands councillors act quickly and decisively so that our local business community can receive the support they deserve.- John Stevens, Taree Business Chamber president
Mr Stevens said research into the name found Barrington Tops and its world heritage wilderness make up a significant proportion of the region’s tourism appeal, while alternative name options ‘Mid Coast’, ‘Mid North Coast’ and ‘Adventure Coast’ would be deemed generic or misleading.
“Taree Business Chamber demands councillors act quickly and decisively so that our local business community can receive the support they deserve,” Mr Stevens said.
The DMP underwent drafting and community consultation last year to identify a vision for the local government area.
It outlined a unified destination brand that complemented the existing ‘Manning Valley… naturally’, ‘Great Lakes: It’s You’ and ‘Gloucester: Basecamp for Barrington Tops’ brands should be developed in line with the key opportunities identified in the plan.
Council projects almost $700 million a year will be injected to the local economy on the back of the plan.
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