I find it hard to accept a tourism strategy that includes closing a tourist information centre to save our rate money, then using “unallocated capital funding” (actually our rate money in a bank account) to build a playground out of scrap metal (Turbine Park, Sentinel-Times, March 8).
I totally agree that we need more penguin-free initiatives but why not spend that $50,000 on finding out what tourists really want and then providing it.
Market research should involve something better than: Councillors find some big bits of scrap metal which the owner gives to council to save tip fees; council has no use for it and, to save tip fees, builds a playground out of it. Council then hopes an influx of tourists will result from the handful of people who stop in Wonthaggi reporting back to Melbournians that there is a great playground near “that place with the wind farms and the desal plant”. Really?
According to various websites the prototype park, in the Netherlands, has “tunnels, towers, bridges, hills, ramps and slides. There is also a watchtower, a water tower, a water slide tower and a climbing tower where you go through a jungle gym.”
Gee, there is no park in Victoria with that stuff, is there? Is the plan to use desal water for the waterslide tower?
One idea that keeps getting knocked back is a dump point and limited free camping to lure campervan and caravans into town.
If people who understand marketing take over the Info Centre this should be their first priority.
That will bring an influx of people who would gladly stay a while and spend money in our clubs and cafes.
Speaking of the desal plant, why not take that “unallocated capital funding”, get the owners of the desal plant to pay rates or put a water usage levy on the water going in to the thing and use the money to run a pipe into South Gippsland water storage.
It’s not even April 1 folks. Why not run a survey on the shire’s website asking ratepayers ‘How would you spend $50,000?’
A properly fenced Dog-Off-Lead-Park would be a popular idea that would also win the hearts and minds (and money) of tourists, especially if it was next to a dump point. We could call it Brumby Park.
Geoff Ellis, Wattle Bank.