The Mirror News

Shire CEO to join regional tourism board

SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council chief executive officer (CEO) Kerryn Ellis will soon join the board of regional tourism board Destination Gippsland Limited (DGL) as a director, alongside the CEOs of Gippsland’s other five municipalities.

Bass Coast Shire CEO Ali Wastie had already been already associated with DGL as an observer representing the six-member Gippsland Local Government Network (GLGN) and was appointed as a director in January 2020.

A recent amendment to DGL’s constitution sees all six Gippsland CEOs appointed as directors of the DGL board, in addition to the seven existing directors and the three other observers who represent Visit Victoria, Regional Development Victoria and Parks Victoria.

Alongside South Gippsland’s Ms Ellis and Bass Coast’s Ms Wastie on the DGL board will be Baw Baw Shire CEO Mark Dupe, Latrobe City CEO Steven Piasente, Wellington Shire CEO David Morcom and East Gippsland Shire CEO Anthony Basford.

DGL was established in 2008 with the support of Visit Victoria and Parks Victoria, together with the six GLGN councils which are its financial members.

DGL is a not-for-profit public company governed by a skills-based board supported by staff and industry networks, and its role is to grow and serve the Gippsland tourism sector.

The organisation seeks to “work in partnership with the industry and government to deliver rewarding and lasting economic, environmental and social outcomes.”

South Gippsland Shire’s administration panel acting as the council endorsed the amendment to the DGL constitution and Ms Ellis’s appointment as a director at the ordinary council meeting held in Leongatha on May 27, 2020.

A report presented to the panel as part of the meeting agenda indicated that each of the six GLGN councils contribute an equal amount to DGL in line with the current Tourism Services Funding Agreement.

In 2010/2020 South Gippsland Shire paid $33,940 excluding GST for its DGL membership.

The shire will cover Ms Ellis’s travel and incidental costs incurred through attending DGL board meetings, however no DGL director receives any fee for their services.

The report also advised that DGL will conduct a special general meeting to vote on the changes to its constitution on Friday June 19, 2020, after which the DGL board will confirm the new constitution and formally appoint the municipal CEOs to the board.

Panel administrator Rick Brown said Ms Ellis’s appointment together with those of her fellow Gippsland council CEOs “highlights the importance” of tourism in Gippsland.

“The effect will be to enable Gippsland to become more co-ordinated and its tourism bodies will be better resourced, allowing a sharper focus on the region,” he said.

“This will be highly beneficial to South Gippsland.”

Administrator Christian Zahra said the “significant change” to the composition of the DGL board “in effect brings [Gippsland’s] most senior local government leaders around the table.

“This is how to grow tourism, which in South Gippsland is an important part of the local economy,” he said.“The expanded DGL board will certainly add value to tourism in Gippsland.”

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