By Vanessa Parker
Despite Moorabool Council spruiking about a recent Visitor Economy Partnership to boost tourism, one local accommodation facility has been told they will have to pay to have directional road signs put up on the main street of Ballan.
The Ballan Caravan Park is run by a volunteer Committee of Management and offers caravan and tent sites, with cabin accommodation also available.
A spokesperson for the park said they were told “directional signages are private signages”.
“There is a fee also associated with the installation,” the spokesperson told the Moorabool News.
“Each sign will cost $250-$450 but does depend on the location we were told and, it would be cheaper apparently if used on an existing pole.
“We thought it would be in the interest of Council to place some signs around the town to let visitors and tourists know there is accommodation available, and a place for campers and caravanners.”
Central Ward Councillor, Paul Tatchell said he was made aware of the claim that road signs, indicating the availability of sites for caravans and camping, would have to be paid for by the individual.
“We spend serious money on a visitor’s strategy quoting finding accommodation as a challenge, but can’t put the blue ‘accommodation this way’ signs up,” he said.
“The same document claims economic development encourages business into the region, then charges 1.5 times the normal rate for the privilege.
“Glossy documents and actions rarely occupy the same space,” Cr Tatchell told the Moorabool News.
Membership in the Visitor Economy Partnership will cost Council $30,000 annually for the next four years and operate to attract and support visitors to the region, provide business support, and fund marketing and products.
Council is currently developing its own Visitor Economy Strategy, which will be available for public exhibition following Council endorsement.
Cr Tatchell said he brought the concern up at a recent Council meeting and is waiting on a response from officers.
Two caravan parks exist in Ballan, one in Jopling Street whilst the other is on the Ballan-Daylesford Road.