Council wishes to sincerely thank the Byron Shire community and everyone who took time from their busy schedules to participate in the recent Talking Future Tourism kitchen table consultation, which finished last Sunday (14 April).
“We were overwhelmed with the positive response and interest from the community and received more than 1200 responses which gives us lots of helpful data to set the direction of our 10 year Sustainable Visitation Strategy,” Tania Crosbie, Economy and Sustainability Coordinator, said.
“More than 1200 people participated in the kitchen table conversations about tourism across the Shire, and this process was very well received and supported by those who took part – it was a really great way to get in-depth and well considered responses and ideas and most of all, I think people really enjoyed it,” Ms Crosbie said.
Everyone who contributed to the Talking Future Tourism consultation went into the draw for a day pass to Bluesfest, which was drawn on Monday 15 April and won by Michael Kern from Bangalow (pictured with Council’s Tourism Officer Lisa Richards).
“The level of participation in this consultation speaks volumes about how important an issue tourism is to our community and I think it shows that people genuinely care and want to get involved.
“Your feedback and ideas will be invaluable in shaping a more meaningful and robust 10 year Sustainability Visitation Strategy (SVS) that truly reflects the ideas and concerns of this community,” Ms Crosbie said.
The data is now being analysed with the findings being central to the next stage in the consultation process which is a Community Solutions Panel that will tackle the issue of what solutions and actions can be taken by Council to deliver sustainable tourism in the future.
“All of the feedback we received from the kitchen table process will feed directly into this next deliberative democracy panel which will first meet on 4 May,” Ms Crosbie said.
The Community Solutions Panel will meet three times in May and its deliberations and recommendations will provide an additional layer of community input and ideas.
“We really have gone the extra mile in terms of community engagement because our community is affected and impacted by tourism more so than most other places in Australia and so our Strategy needs to incorporate their views and solutions,” Ms Crosbie said.
It is planned that the draft Sustainable Visitation Strategy will go to Council’s August meeting.