John Bjelke-Petersen at Bethany.
John Bjelke-Petersen at Bethany. Tobi Loftus

'We need to work together': Council pushed on tourism future

SOUTH Burnett tourism operators made their views clear at a meeting with South Burnett Regional Council last night.

At the Wooroolin Town Hall meeting, held on December 6, attendees expressed their support for the establishment of a local tourism organisation to represent the industry.

John Bjelke-Petersen, who runs Bethany Cottages, took the floor to look back at how things used to be done but also look forward.

"There is a lot of feeling about where we're going in relation to tourism," he said.

"Everybody here in the South Burnett, whether it be businesses in the main street or accommodation, we're all part of tourism.

"If you don't have people staying with us, people that own shops in town aren't having people buying goods off them.

Mr Bjelke-Petersen said re-establishing a group like the South Burnett Tourism Association would help drive the industry forward.

"We need to work together if we're going to move forward," he said.

"I firmly believe that we need to form an organisation that represents tourism providing businesses. I think that's the starting point."

Meeting attendees applauded Mr Bjelke-Petersen's comments.

 

When asked for a show of hands, the majority of attendees expressed their support for such a group.

Councillor Danita Potter, who holds the tourism portfolio, said this show of support would be taken back to the council for further discussion.

James Barclay from Kingaroy Observatory pressed Cr Potter on the issue, asking her to commit her support for a local tourism organisation.

She said, being only one councillor and without the mayor present, this was not something she could do.

Council CEO Mark Pitt agreed, saying the matter would need to be discussed at a council meeting.

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