COUNCILLORS were last week forced to amend a policy within an hour of its approval after it was noted a key point of a newly adopted policy was unclear.
The Baw Baw Destinational Branding Strategy was adopted unanimously by councillors, but a later suspension of standing orders and private meeting of councillors and directors requested by CEO Helen Anstis resulted in an amendment before the meeting’s close.
“I do apologise to the council and our gallery,” Ms Anstis said after councillors returned from the 20-minute meeting.
“The omission, or the ambiguity, is under 14.1, the Baw Baw Shire Destination Branding Strategy.
“It’s with regards to dot point number two (Financially contribute a portion of the costs for local tourism associations to redesign and print the official visitor guides, incorporating new branding format and shire wide tourism maps and key tourism attractions), which has been adopted by the council.
“It’s to do with the ambiguity of ‘portion of the costs’, and with that ambiguity that we get some level of clarification from the council on that level.”
The resulting amendment passed by the council read: “That council provides 50 per cent or $3,000, which ever is the lesser amount, available up to 30 June 2014 for the active LTAs (local tourism associations) to undertake revised printing of promotional materials.”
All councillors present except North ward councillor David Balfour approved the motion to amend the policy, which had been released for public submissions prior to the vote.
“I think we should’ve held this back and let the people who made a presentation [to councillors] know exactly what was going before the council tonight,” Cr Balfour said.
The policy was drafted in response to a need identified in a 2012 tourism report for the council to identify and develop a consistent identity for the region.
A key part of the new strategy, developed by an external PR company, was the adoption of a new logo for tourism purposes.
One of the logo design samples in the council agenda documentation for last week’s meeting.
The adopted strategy also included guidelines for research and industry consultation, a target market profile, an implementation plan and set aside $43,000 from the present budget to begin implementation.
North ward councillor Debbie Brown said the strategy looked to the long term.
“We have a very good implementation plan which will look at extensive public relations, marketing, and will help develop and sustain our tourism in the long term,” Cr Brown said..
“What we’re really aiming for, and this is shire wide, is increased visitors in the region, pride in our region and income in the region.”
Councillor Peter Kostos was not present at the meeting.
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