After years of dispute with Tenterfield Shire Council over its place in the promotion of Tenterfield and then lately months of negotiation with the NSW Department of Fair Trading to ensure its dissolution was done ‘by the book’, the Tenterfield and District Visitors Association (TDVA) is now officially wound up.
TDVA representative Kim Rhodes ceremoniously handed over the group’s remaining financial assets to Tenterfield Chamber of Tourism, Industry and Business steering committee president Vince Sherry last week as members of the local business community looked on.
The $73,442.41 will be quarantined by the chamber of the purpose of promoting the town, with next year’s inaugural Peter Allen Festival a likely candidate to receive support. There are other projects under discussion like a Why Leave Town campaign to encourage shopping locally, and a professional/amateur bicycling event to be run over several days, culminating in a sprint up Mt McKenzie.
Next on the chamber’s agenda, however, is its first annual general meeting on Wednesday, August 2.
Mrs Rhodes said while TDVA executives thought the dissolution was sorted six months ago, it was necessary to engage a solicitor to work with them to ensure ‘all the t’s were crossed and i’s were dotted’ to satisfy Fair Trading requirements.
“There’s a large sum of money involved, so it had to be done properly.”
She said the funds the association had in its kitty were due to the frugal efforts of the late Patti Ainsworth who worked tirelessly for the Visitor Information Centre and the town, pursuing grants and ensuring every promotion came with a win.
Some of those savings were invested in the Beautiful Tenterfield books which continue to be used as gifts to promote the district far and wide.
“The book is in a lot of doctor’s surgeries in Brisbane, for instance, and it continues to bring people here,” Mrs Rhodes said.
Mrs Rhodes said the majority of former TDVA members are now members of the Business Chamber. One of those is Jenny Santin who thinks the chamber is going to be fantastic for the town.
To make it work, however, Mrs Rhodes said people have to get involved and participate.
“We’re all busy, we’re all working in our own businesses,” she said.
“Even if we can only spare one hour a week it will help with moving Tenterfield foward.”
Mayor Peter Petty is happy to have the district’s tourism, industry and business operators united under one banner. Cr Petty said it’s a more efficient way of working together on proposals to advance the district, and he fully supports it.