Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : March 21, 2017 Edition Contents PAGE 8 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, MARCH 21, 2017
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THE South Gippsland Shire Council has been
reviewing the $325,000 annual cost of operating
its accredited visitor information centres at Coal
Creek in Korumburra and in Foster.
However, while it will table its ‘Service Review’
report at this Wednesday’s council meeting, it’s
not all doom and gloom with only one of five op-
tions in the report recommending closure of the
The shire intends to take the issue to the com-
munity in April to again seek its views after a
widespread period of consultation with the local
tourism sector before coming up with a decision.
But one thing seems certain, there will be
change to respond to changes in the market, es-
pecially as more and more people book their holi-
day accommodation and the like directly online,
rather than by phoning up the local visitor infor-
Here, in a nutshell are the five options:
• Option 1: Maintain the current operating
model and continue to co-locate within Coal Creek
Community Park and Museum, Korumburra and
at the Stockyard Gallery, Foster. Both VICs would
maintain the current level of accreditation, or yel-
low ‘I’ status and staffing will maintain its current
status. The combined operating costs would re-
main approximately $325K per annum.
• Option 2: Increase digital service offering
South Gippsland, or Prom Country, currently has
a growing digital presence in the form of website,
App and Facebook page. By focusing on an in-
creased digital presence, the Visit Prom Country
brand, which is managed by PCRT, can grow in
the future. Development of town websites for all
South Gippsland towns will cost $500 per town.
It is estimated that additional costs could range
between $100K and $150K per annum.
• Option 3. Integrated model. This option
would allow Council to combine general customer
service functions with visitor information services
in shared desk facilities in Korumburra and/or
Foster during peak times. Option include discon-
tinuing either Foster or Korumburra. Annual sav-
• Option 4. New VIC Location. This option would
require a full investigation for one accredited VIC
including community and industry consultation,
location and cost benefit analysis. The cost of the
new location is approximately $250,000 per an-
num including infrastructure and employee costs.
• Option 5. Close VICs and increase volunteer
offering. This option will empower the business
and wider community to train as local guides
to encourage greater visitation within the shire.
Volunteers would be supported by Council staff
to ensure they have current knowledge of the re-
gion to share with visitors. With an estimated cost
of $150K for training and ongoing support, it is
recommended that the remainder of the existing
budget be allocated to grow the digital presence
provided by PCRT.
Should shire close
WONTHAGGI Newsagency and Lotto is
marking its sixth birthday and five years at
the Murray Street store and to celebrate, the
store is offering a special promotion.
Simply spend $10 on newsagency products
in store to go into the draw to win a newsa-
gency hamper valued at $200.
Since moving to the Murray Street loca-
tion, owner Fiona Fleming said the store has
continued to grow.
“It’s been nice having a big new shop to be
able to spread wings and put more products
in,” she said.
“It’s a lot better, there’s room to move and
we’re able to offer more variety of stock. It’s
bright, sunny and stays cool in the summer.
“The store is much more user friendly for
elderly and disabled citizens.”
Fiona and the team would like to thank
their loyal customers for their support over
the years and look forward to continuing to
provide exceptional customer service to meet
With phonebooks being released soon,
Fiona said customers who cannot receive
phonebooks at their properties can pick up
their phonebook from the newsagency in
Wonthaggi Newsagency and Lotto is celebrating its sixth birthday and five years at the
Murray Street store. Owner Fiona Fleming is excited about the celebrations, with all cus-
tomers who spend $10 on newsagency products going into the draw to win a newsagency
hamper valued at $200. rg121016
Newsagency’s birthday fun
THE Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC)
fully supports leading Australian tourism operator
Pennicott Wilderness Journeys’ proposal to oper-
ate wilderness cruises at Wilsons Promontory.
VTIC CEO Brad Ostermeyer said the $3.5 mil-
lion project will boost visitation and create much
needed jobs in the Gippsland region.
Pennicott Wilderness Journeys plans to operate
three eco-boat cruises from Tidal River.
The cruises will give locals and visitors the op-
portunity to explore spectacular scenery and wild-
life aboard one of three new custom-built vessels.
Their revolutionary design removes the need for
any jetty infrastructure to be built on-land, deliver-
ing a truly sustainable, minimal impact operation.
“The sensitive and high quality nature of the
project fits exceptionally well with Victoria’s Tour-
ism 2020 objectives of improving the positioning
of Victoria as an outstanding nature-based desti-
nation, both within Australia and overseas,” Mr
He said the project, which is expected to gener-
ate $9.7 million in economic benefit per annum
in the local community and create up to 30 new
full-time equivalent jobs over five years, will greatly
benefit the Gippsland region.
The Minister for Energy, Environment and Cli-
mate Change will ultimately decide on the pro-
posal and VTIC looks forward to a favourable
Tourism group backs Prom cruises
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