Tourism board in dispute

BRAND Orange has threatened to pull out of a transition board to guide Orange’s tourism industry if it is set up as a council committee.

NON-NEGOTIABLE: Brand Orange chairman Peter Robson.

NON-NEGOTIABLE: Brand Orange chairman Peter Robson.

The final make-up of the transition board is still unclear as Orange City Council and Brand Orange negotiate its structure and members.

Councillors voted on Tuesday night to allow general manager Garry Styles to negotiate for a board made up of four council representatives and four Brand Orange representatives.

They would be joined by an operator or councillor from each Cabonne and Blayney councils, a representative from the business sector and a representative from the sport and recreation sector.

It is anticipated there would be 11 members.

However, Mr Styles indicated negotiations had run into some difficulties because Brand Orange considered the Blayney and Cabonne representatives as council representatives and would ask for another two delegates.

“They would view it as six positions – they would have to match six of us with six of them … then we’ll have an extra two, which takes it to 15, which is unworkable,” he said.

He suggested the dispute could be settled if the positions were vetoed by both the council and Brand Orange.

However councillors Chris Gryllis and Russell Turner were concerned it could cause unwanted ructions with Cabonne and Blayney councils ahead of a potential amalgamation.

The regions have not been represented previously on the Brand Orange board and Mr Styles told the meeting the Cabonne and Blayney general managers had been supportive in discussions so far.

With the council considering setting up the transition board as a council committee to eliminate the need for an interim company and additional insurance costs, Brand Orange chairman Peter Robson rejected the notion.

A letter to the council from Brand Orange following a meeting for its members indicated the interim board should be constituted as a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee, operating under the Corporations Act.

“That part is not negotiable,” he said.

“Under the Corporations Act, the board has to act in the interests of all stakeholders but if it’s a committee of council, it’ll just act in the interests of council and there’s something like 300 Brand Orange members.”

Mr Robson also said Brand Orange and the council should have an equal number of delegates because even though the council contributed $909,000 to Brand Orange’s $544,000, $400,000 was tied up in the visitor information centre.

Negotiations are continuing.

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