Greg Lawrence of Riverina Regional Tourism presenting at the Australian Regional Development Conference

Greg Lawrence, Director and Chair of Riverina Regional Tourism to present at the Australian Regional Development Conference being held at the Commercial Club Albury on the 26– 27 August 2015.

Greg Lawrence

Greg Lawrence

Speaker Introduction: Greg has over 40 years experience in the tourism industry, working in the Cruise industry with companies like P&O, Cunard & Sitmar, as well as the Golf, wine. Greg and his wife Fiona also owned a country pub in North-east Victoria and Greg has now joined local government in the tourism & economic development. Greg also believes in giving back and has been a Board member of destination Albury Wodonga as deputy chair, president of Australian Institute of Travel & Tourism, was treasurer of the Deniliquin chamber of commerce and on the executive of the Griffith Business Chamber. Greg is passionate about tourism, customer service and development.

Presentation Title: The Riverina – More than just Food and Wine

Overview: The Riverina region of NSW is a largely untapped tourism destination. Covering a huge area of approximately 60,000 km2, the region’s main industry is agriculture. Tourism is not high on the political agenda, and funding from government and industry for tourism promotion is limited.

About the Conference:  The Australian Regional Development Conference is an initiative of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., a non-Government ‘not-for-profit’ organisation.

Themed Redefining the Future of Regional Australia, the Conference will explore the issues and opportunities facing Regional Australia today and into the future. 

Concurrent session topics:

  • Sustainability / Renewables
  • Population Movements
  • Community Development
  • Government Policy
  • Innovation
  • Infrastructure
  • Cultural Tourism / Regional Tourism Development
  • Free Trade Agreements
  • Transport and Logistics
  • NBN / Broadband Communication
  • Banking / Finance

For more information and/or to register for the Conference, please visit the website here.

Evocities representative believes state government’s forgotten about regional development

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Evocities spokesman, James Treloar, is calling on the NSW Government and the Opposition to do more for regional development. (ABC News)

The spokesman for Evocities is critical of the New South Wales Government’s commitment to regional development.

James Treloar says regional cities such as Wagga, Tamworth and Orange need to grow and prosper to support surrounding smaller communities and take the pressure off places like western Sydney.

He says the government had a few good programs, but did not get a grasp of what is needed.

“I think the last three and a half years of a coalition government have possibly seen the worst policies on regional development I’ve ever seen in New South Wales,” he said.

“I really do believe they have overlooked the opportunities of growth into regional areas and they have just left it to the local government sector to try and boost regional development.”

Mr Treloar, who is a former member of the Nationals and a sitting Tamworth Regional Councillor, says it is not just money that needs to be spent.

He says he wants more promotion of the rewards and savings of living outside the major cities.

Mr Treloar says the Coalition’s commitment to regional growth in its first term has been poor, but nor is he praising Labor.

“Look they haven’t come out with a policy that’s making me think they’d do any better job,” he said.

“I just think we unfortunately are too often taken for granted.

“We’ve been a conservative voting mob and we will continue to get what we deserve because we just keep putting our hand up and voting for the same people.”

Meanwhile, Councillor Treloar says after going through a merger of five councils, there is no major pain, except among elected officials and general managers.

Councillor Treloar says the formation of Tamworth Regional Council a decade ago has greatly benefited Tamworth, but has also benefited smaller outlying communities, including the provision of expert staff.

Councillor Treloar says he is aware of the angst about the Fit for the Future program but councils need to look at the positives.

“There will be some negatives,” he said.

“We had 45 councillors brought down to nine, which obviously means that your representation to the community is far less, but that doesn’t mean it’s worse, it’s just there’s less numbers there.

“The only people whose jobs are not secure are the elected body and the general manager.

“And isn’t it ironic that the spokespeople for most of these amalgamation issues are the general manager and the elected body.”

Councillor Treloar says there should not be public concern about council mergers.

Riverina councils are working on their response to the state government’s Fit for the Future package and some are investigating a merger…

Read more by ABC News 11 February 2015