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Grey nomads turning ruined town into attraction

Editorial

Photo: Stonemason Ron Johnson works a wall of an historic building in Farina, South Australia.
Ever fantasised about restoring a historic building? Well a bunch of grey nomads are spending a season of labour every year on restoring the outback town of Farina, South Australia. About halfway between Port Augusta SA and Birsdville QLD, the town has long been abandoned – but a meagre bakery income, two stonemasons, some elbow grease and a plan have gotten Farina to a stage where a museum of artefacts could open next year. Continue reading

NT travel agency rort travels to Darwin

Editorial

After a travel agent in Katherine, NT was caught rorting an NT government travel scheme last year, Darwin police have raided a branch of Helloworld in Darwin looking for similar data. The Katherine rorter has recently been found in court to have overcharged the government on 69 out of 88 invoices, resulting in a personal benefit of $40,514. Continue reading

Bad layout blocks retailers from 250k festival-goers

Editorial

Image: Canberra retailer Mal Briggs’ comic book shop is blocked by tents for the entirety of the National Multicultural Festival. The Canberra festival lines up stall holders in front of existing shops, turning a 250,000-strong event into a loss for the usual shop-owners. Festival organisers, instead of conceding a new layout would be appropriate, says business owners need to compromise. Jane Easthope, chief executive of Canberra CBD Ltd, suggested to the ABC that the festival is not for shop-owners – which is funny because the group’s marketing company says the event is funded ‘out of a levy of property owners’. Continue reading

Charles Sturt council paves over existing tenants

Editorial

A prolonged council development is being blamed for a popular Adelaide Beaches restaurant’s lack of trade and closure. The owner claims the restaurant had been bringing in $1500 a day during winter last year, but this year customers would walk in and walk straight out due to noise, bringing daily revenue down to $300 per day. Continue reading

Australia Zoo needs strategy: TTN

Editorial

PHOTO: Australia Zoo founder and “Crocodile Hunter”, Steve Irwin, poses with his family. World-class exhibits attractions aren’t easily borne – and they’re not easy to maintain either. Years of bad management are coming to a head at Australia Zoo, with reports of unnecessary rare animal deaths, illegal administration of drugs in the adjoining zoos, and reported complacency from manager Terri Irwin. Continue reading

Australian wine dominated by drug money

Editorial

Casella Wines own major export brand Yellow Tail. Marcello Casella (centre) is part of a large crime syndicate that produces, distributes and sells meth and cannabis around Australia – if not the world. Casella Wines absorbed the beloved Peter Lehmann Wines in December 2014. Yes this is sort of old news, in that Marcello Casella was busted last year, but when small Australian vineyards are pushed out of domestic and export consumption by big brands run by crime families – it’s a tourism issue. Continue reading

Hotel development regulation compared around Aus

Editorial

A report into Hotel Developments in Australia breaks down the complexity of hotel development in Australia, comparing CBD and regional conditions. The report, commissioned by AusTrade, makes 9 recommendations as to how developments could be untied. Continue reading

Tiger leaves town – and so do the backpackers

Editorial

For months, tourism operators have noticed a decline in business due to one airline – Tiger – ceasing flights to Alice Springs. Now an Alice Springs mainstay, Toddy’s backpackers, is closing its doors, and taking history with it – and flight prices are back up at near-Qantas prices. The real concern though, it Adam Giles’ casual management of all policies, much less the complex lobbying work of keeping airlines coming to the state. Continue reading

How planning battles cost the public

Editorial

The Tourism News gets a lot of questions about council planning processes. In this example, Hobart City Council has paid over $500,000 for a fairly obtuse walkway that won’t go ahead. After spending $188k in planning application and consultancy fees and $363k in court costs fighting the Battery Head residents, Hobart City Council’s General Manager is absconding from the actual costs to council. Continue reading

ColesWorth EBAs ruining small Sunday towns

Editorial

Peter Strong of the Council of Small Business of Australia has launched a national offensive against the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association that bargained for Coles & Woolworths employees to work at a 150% Sunday rate whilst small businesses have to pay double time for the same workers. The Enterprise Bargaining Agreements have resulted in the killing off of small towns as traders can’t afford to open Sundays. Sundays represent a large portion of domestic tourism’s drive markets. Continue reading

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