New Southern Qld Country Tourism CEO Peter Homan
(Photo: Outback Queensland)

June 21, 2019

Just a fortnight after a new CEO was named to take the reins at Southern Queensland Country Tourism, it appears the rift with a rival tourism body may be over.

Peter Homan, the former CEO of Outback Queensland Tourism Association, was named on June 7 as the replacement for outgoing CEO Mary Clare-Power.

He is due to take up his position on July 8.

It now seems likely he will be taking over an organisation which will have just merged with a local rival, Tourism Darling Downs.

In May 2017, Wellcamp Airport owner John Wagner formed the breakaway Tourism Darling Downs (Visit Darling Downs) after a falling out with SCQT earlier that year.

At the time, Mr Wagner slammed SQCT in the media as an “absolute joke” and a “disgrace”, and suggested taxpayers’ and ratepayers’ dollars were not being spent wisely in the region.

However, he told the media on Friday that negotiations to bring the organisations together had now been completed and he believed a merged group could be operating as early as July 1.

SQCT chair Associate Professor Jane Summers welcomed the move, saying it would create “a powerful and unified voice” for the region’s tourism industry.

South Burnett Regional Council left SQCT in August 2017 amid concerns the region derived little value from its $60,000 annual commitment to the organisation.

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