Media Release: Talking tourism at LGNSW’s Port Stephens conference

4 March 2013

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) is expecting up to 200 people to attend the 2013 Tourism Conference in Port Stephens on 11-13 March 2013, held in partnership with Destination NSW.

Joint President of Local Government NSW, Cr Ray Donald, said tourism is fundamental to the economic health of many local communities and I’m pleased that the first major event held by LGNSW is the Local Government Tourism Conference.

“So many regional centres and rural towns throughout NSW rely on visitors and holiday-makers – both domestic and international – to bolster their local economies and in a competitive market councils need to be innovative and help lead the way for their local tourism industries to succeed,” Cr Donald said.

“The theme of the 2013 conference, ‘Leadership and Innovation’, reflects the need for councils to be on the front foot of the latest tourism trends and aims to impart essential information and open up a dialogue on new and progressive techniques to help maximise Local Government tourism opportunities.”

“The highly successful Artistic Director of Opera Australia, Lyndon Terracini, will speak on ‘Leadership and Inspiration’, providing insights from his own experience with one of Australia’s principal cultural and artistic organisations.”

“The Digital Director of Destination NSW, Diana Kahui, will pose the question “Are you mobile ready?” complementing the theme of digital technologies, including mobile apps, which will feature throughout the three-day conference,” said Cr Donald.

Joint President of Local Government NSW, Cr Keith Rhoades AFSM, said the conference key note addresses by John King OAM from the Visitor Economy Taskforce (VET) and Simonne Shepherd from Destination NSW will cover the VET Strategy and recommendations to substantially increase visitation numbers and reinvigorate the NSW tourism industry.

“I anticipate conference delegates will be eager to hear the strategic directions VET has recommended to the NSW Government and discuss how councils and their local tourism economies can play their role in enticing people to the wonderful destinations that NSW has to offer,” said Cr Rhoades.

“Expert speakers will also present on a number of issues pertinent to councils with a strong or emerging tourist focus including how to bid and attract new events, successful community event business planning, Tourism Regional Development Fund Grants, and Destination Management Planning. The role and future of Visitor Information Centres is also an important topic to be discussed.”

“The 2013 Local Government NSW Tourism Conference will end with the ‘State your Case’ segment where councils that have submitted their local ‘tourism’ challenges have the potential to win $3000 dollars, as voted on by the audience, to help implement a practical tourism solution.”

“While the $3000 will go some way to assist the winning council address their tourism ‘challenge’, the main benefit derived from this dynamic and interactive competition will be the advice and innovative ideas provided by the audience, all of whom are tourism and event professionals,” said Cr Rhoades.

Supporters of LGNSW’s 2013 Tourism Conference include Elite Sponsor, CountryLink; Premier Sponsor, Book-easy; Distinguished Sponsors, The Senior and NSW National Parks and Wildlife; and our other sponsors Aurora Research and Development, Wisdom, Regional Development Australia, crowd comms, channelzero and Circus Solarus.

Cr Keith Rhoades and Cr Ray Donald will both carry out the duties of Joint President of the LGNSW Interim Board until the election of the first LGNSW President and Board in October 2013.

All media interested in attending the Local Government Tourism Conference need to register with Alex Power, LGNSW Senior Media Officer, at

Media Enquiries
Cr Ray Donald        Joint President, Local Government NSW: 0438 699 910
Cr Keith Rhoades,  AFSM Joint President, Local Government NSW: 0408 256 405
Alex Power             LGNSW Senior Media Officer: 0408 603 093