Kiama Tourism board talks

Kiama Tourism chairman Brian Longbottom has declined to say whether the Kiama Tourism board will accept an $8000 governance review proposed by Kiama Municipal Council.

The review, to be funded by Kiama council through "tourism-related funds", was proposed after concerns were raised with the council over "ongoing problems" the board appeared to be having.

Last month when selecting a consultant to conduct the review, Kiama councillors added a clause that the review seek input and comment from people who had served on the board over the past two years.

Mr Longbottom said a motion regarding the independent review of governance requested by the council had been put forward and carried by the Kiama Tourism board detailing an agreed process from this point. However, the "meeting is still confidential and we are in discussion with Kiama council".

Kiama council said it contributed more than $300,000 each year to Kiama Tourism through a tourism levy of $217,000, Holiday Parks contribution of $30,000 and a rental subsidy of $59,500.

Although a separate legal entity, the council holds three positions on the 12-member board.

Mr Longbottom and Kiama Tourism have also denied suggestions the board is "divided" and said Cr Neil Reilly's comment at last month's council meeting that "half the board had resigned" was inaccurate.

To "clarify the situation", Kiama Tourism issued a statement saying there were differences of opinion which determined whether the motion was carried or not but "this is democracy at work, not a sign of division".

The statement said the board was made up of 12 people, three of whom were council representatives.

"Councillors cannot resign; they can request to be replaced by informing the Mayor, and this is what happened with Cr [Mark] Way and Cr [Mark] Honey," the statement said.

"Two directors did resign, one due to workplace change. The Kiama District Chamber of Commerce (KDCC) representative was withdrawn at the request of KDCC, not at the request of Kiama Tourism."

A Kiama council spokeswoman said the council had received advice from the tourism board, which was to be reported to the next council meeting on Tuesday, March 18.

Public access is scheduled for Monday, March 17 from 5pm.

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