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Byron Shire
May 7, 2021

Winner not told of $100k grant

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From go to whoa – Norco Primex expo covers it all

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Luis Feliu

The owner of a north coast tourism company got a surprise when Echonetdaily called him last week to congratulate him on his successful bid for $100,000 in state government tourism funding. It was the first he had heard about it.

In a classic case of government by press release, the company, Tweed Byron Transit, had not been told that it had been awarded the funding to develop a bus-tour operation called Green Cauldron Tours.

Last Wednesday, Ballina MP and local government minister Don Page’s parliamentary office emailed out the press release ‘on behalf’ of tourism minister George Souris, saying the company had succeeded in its bid for the funding, made under the government’s $5 million Regional Tourism Product Development Funding Program.

Not officially informed

But owner of the company, Ron King, when contacted by Echonetdaily last Wednesday, was surprised to hear from the media that the funding had been approved and declined to be involved in any publicity till he had been ‘officially’ informed.

Yesterday Mr King said he had received an email last Friday but was yet to know the ‘terms and conditions of the funding’, so was unable to provide much detail on the venture, apart from plans to set up tour buses with multilingual audio systems for overseas tourists.

Destination NSW spokesman Alan Valvasori told Echonetdaily it was ‘very peculiar’ that the media should first hear about it before the recipient was given a ‘heads up’ to ‘coincide with the announcement’ and it ‘may have been just an administrative glitch’.

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