|12 January 2017
A recent meeting between Minister for Infrastructure Rene Hidding and West Coast Council representatives was positive and productive West Coast Mayor Phil Vickers says.
The meeting, also attended by General Manager Dirk Dowling and Economic Development, Tourism & Events Coordinator Simon Lee, was welcomed by the Council as it continues to seek partnerships with key stakeholders, including the State Government.
“It was refreshing to see the Minister understand the current circumstances of our community and demonstrate a willingness to work with Council to develop initiatives that will see the region reinvigorated,” Mayor Vickers said.
Future transport options for the West Coast were discussed, an area of concern highlighted regularly by the West Coast community.
“Council looks forward to working with Minister Hidding and the State Government to develop an effective transport system for the West Coast that not only aids in connecting the region to other parts of Tasmania, but that also serves to connect our communities to promote inter-town activities,” Mayor Vickers said.
Council provided an update to Minister Hidding on its economic development program, including the newly established Economic Development Advisory Committee, and plans to engage with West Coast tourism operators to determine the direction of tourism in the region. A briefing on the operations of the West Coast Wilderness Railway was also provided by Minister Hidding.
“With tourism now a key industry for the West Coast a plan for how the industry will be managed and the various experiences developed is needed,” Mayor Vickers said. “All involved in the industry will be invited to participate in a workshop - it is exciting to think about the possibilities that will be opened up once a clearer, more united path is developed for our tourism operators to build their businesses.”
The topics discussed with Minister Hidding highlighted the strategies in the West Coast’s leading strategic document, the West Coast Community Plan 2025, with Mayor Vickers confirming Council’s commitment to ensuring the outcomes are met.
“We are committed to implementing the vision adopted by the West Coast community in its West Coast Community Plan 2025. There is no higher priority for Council. Meetings such as this have given us renewed confidence that, with key stakeholders supporting the region, the West Coast will be sustainable with acceptable services, facilities and infrastructure,” Mayor Vickers said.
Mayor Phil Vickers with Minister Rene Hidding