June 22, 2022
The Creative Country Association – the committee behind Murgon’s “Ancient Songbird Centre” museum and art gallery – is disappointed only two councillors turned up at their pre-arranged consultation meeting on Monday.
Spokesperson Leo Geraghty told southburnett.com.au the association had invited all councillors to inspect progress on the building, hear from the marketing expert they had engaged to promote the project, and discuss a proposition that the Songbird Centre host the Visitor Information Centre currently housed in a Council-owned building in Lamb Street.
The meeting attracted only Mayor Brett Otto and local divisional councillor Kathy Duff. Deputy Mayor Gavin Jones submitted an apology.
Mr Geraghty said the consultant, Julie Cullen from Tourism Tap, had made a special trip to Murgon to address the councillors on site at the building, which is taking shape in Macalister Street.
Earlier this month, the Creative Country Association (CCA) put a formal proposal via Tourism Tap to the South Burnett Regional Council to move the Murgon Visitor Information Centre (VIC) to the Ancient Songbird Centre, which is due to open in October.
The proposal, which suggested Council pay $250 a week rent, was discussed at the Community Standing Committee meeting and the Executive, Finance and Corporate Standing Committee meeting, both held on June 15.
Council officers recommended the VIC stay in Lamb Street but Council provide support to the CCA to provide tourism information.
At the Community Standing Committee, councillors voted unanimously to inform the CCA that although Council accepted their concept in principle it was unable to provide funding, and that Council welcomed the opportunity to visit with a view to discussing how it could support CCA in their efforts to obtain funding from other sources.
At the Executive, Finance and Corporate Standing Committee meeting, councillors voted that the matter “lay on the table” until Council met with the CCA on June 20.
The fact only two councillors turned up to this meeting on June 20 to hear from the tourism consultant has the CCA riled.
“Julie, from Tourism Tap, has a wealth of knowledge,” Mr Geraghty said.
“She has recently undertaken commercialisation projects of a similar nature for Cairns Aquarium and Saltwater Eco Tours and is a Board member of the Gympie Rattler.”
He questioned why Council had hired external consultants to investigate the future of its Visitor Information Centre network but seemed unwilling to listen to the information gathered by the consultant engaged by CCA.