Editorial Sept 7th 2018

Welcome to this week’s editorial,

There are winners and losers to most decisions and these have been testing times with the community divided over several issues. The first “divided issue” we saw was that of the decision to move the Sculpture on Clyde from being a town based event to being a Regional Event of International Standard for the South East of NSW. Yes, there were the moans as to be expected from those who had to drive further to see it, and those who bemoaned paying $5 for a program with the proceeds going to the Muddy Puddles Charity. But then there were the 6153 who made the effort to visit the stunning Willinga Park and walk amongst a collection of 50+ sculpture pieces of international standard located in a venue of world standard. The event, being regional, attracted the support and marketing of Destination NSW that saw visitors from Sydney, Shoalhaven, Canberra, Regional NSW, the ACT and even Eurobodalla. In conjunction with the Sculptures on Clyde indoor exhibition held in Batemans Bay the event had a total turnover of $250,000 and generated considerable interest of the area via social media. Not a bad effort for 60 + volunteers. Those who questioned the move including the Eurobodalla Council failed to recognise that events of this calibre are where we should aim as a region. Ask anyone what the primary industry is on the South Coast and they will reply “tourism”. As I type the Eurobodalla Tourism team are in Sydney at the Caravan show hoping to promote the Eurobodalla as a destination. But tourism is not a sustainable industry for us. It is seasonal for a start and also reliant on a cashed up economy that has a balance of those wanting to spend money to be entertained and those who can provide the services they require. At best we generally offer mediocrity when it comes to our accommodation, food and service. That is because most visitors to the area are low to middle budget and pretty much self reliant. Our hospitality staff are typically seasonal and without guaranteed full time employment are usually transitioning to another career or indifferent to the one that gets them by. Yes, we have one hatted restaurant, we do have a handful of cafes lifting the bar, we do have some excellent clubs and venues pushing the barriers and we also a few 5* accommodation options however for the most ours is an area that stumbles through delivery of hospitality riding on the back of a pristine #unspoilt backdrop that allows our mediocrity to be considered “quaint” Saturday night will see the celebration of many of these businesses at the Eurobodalla Business Awards. It is these business that represent the future of the area. Businesses with vision, commitment, capacity and passion with the smarts to invest, expand, employ and return to their community. Eurobodalla Councillors Mayne, McGinlay and Constable recognised these attributes when they met the presidents of the five chambers of commerce. What was evident to them was that Council needed to respect the opinion of the business community who had “skin in the game” and begin to carefully consider the financial and social consequences of its own policies to ensure that the primary employers of the shire, being the hundreds of small and large businesses were included in the decisions being made by Council. The community needs visionaries in its councillors, and its private sector, to best direct the Local, State and Federal government spending for the best outcomes. Until next …. Lei

#Editorial #LeiParker #Weekly


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