Goondiwindi Visitor Information Centre to stay in Bowen Lane following community consultation« Back
Goondiwindi Regional Council has resolved to keep the Goondiwindi Visitor Information Centre (VIC) in its current Bowen Lane location, following the results of community consultation earlier in the year.
Goondiwindi Region residents were asked to share their views on the future location of the VIC in March, following some requests from within the community to consider relocating the centre. Not surprisingly, the consultation revealed greatly polarising opinions among residents, VIC volunteers, Customs House volunteers and the Goondiwindi RSL about the best location for the centre and showed no clear consensus.
Mayor of the Goondiwindi Region the Honourable Cr Lawrence Springborg AM holds Council’s portfolio for Tourism and said Council would be adopting a number of recommendations about the future operation of the VIC, including a refresh of the centre’s appearance.
“I’d like to thank the more-than-100 residents who participated in the consultation process,” Cr Springborg said. “It’s clear that while many are passionate about this topic, opinions are very divided and there is no one clear preference from the community as a whole about the long-term location of the VIC,” he said.
“In light of this, Council has agreed to invest in improving the Bowen Lane site, including a décor refresh and creating a more defined ‘visitor information’ space to more clearly differentiate it from the other sections in the Civic Centre.”
Council has also agreed to support the Customs House Museum to maximise its visitor numbers, include the consideration of a ‘self-service’ system as has already been trialled in the Inglewood Heritage Centre and Australian Tobacco Museum.
Council will support Customs House to access funding grants for essential improvements, such as disability access, building and amenity upgrades, and an alternative site for the RSL display, which would need to be in place before Council could once again re-consider the possible re-location of the VIC to the Customs House site in the longer-term.
Survey results indicate that 72% of respondents did not support increasing rates to deliver additional services at the VIC, such as seven day a week operation.
Cr Springborg said it was important for the continued operation of the VIC to strike a balance between costs and services.
“Overwhelmingly, the consultation proved a desire for high-quality services but without increased costs or rate increases - which means Council needs to do the best we can with the resources we have,” Cr Springborg said.
“Keeping the VIC at its current site will allow the VIC to continue to operate six days a week, Monday to Saturday, as per the current model. Council will also continue to engage with community members and local businesses, such as motels, caravan parks and cafes, to support the Tourism Ambassador Program, which will ensure Sunday visitors can still access quality local information about the region.
“The success of our VIC is of course due to the continued dedication of our team of volunteers, and we thank them for their patience and input throughout this process. We are so very fortunate to have such passionate advocates for our region and we couldn’t deliver the high quality service without them,” the Mayor said.
Council has recently made several significant investments in the Goondiwindi Region’s visitor economy, including the creation of the ‘Visitor Experience Coordinator’ role for the Goondiwindi Region, a $45,000 annual membership to GoondiwindiRegion.com, a suite of professional images for local businesses to use in their marketing material, and a complete overhaul of the Inglewood VIC.