MARYSVILLE Triangle Business and Tourism (MTBT) are holding an AGM on September 24 at 4pm at MiRa. The meeting could have significant impacts on the future of tourism and the arts in the local area, and people with an interest are encouraged to attend.
New office-holders will need to be elected, given the president and secretary vacancy.
MTBT are the lease-holders of MiRa, a prominent Marysville building which provides tourist information, an arts space, product sales including local products, room rentals, and is a community hub for various events. The building is provided at a peppercorn rent to MTBT by Murrindindi Shire Council.
Russell Crowe, Luc Longley and the City of Coffs Harbour provided $500,000 in the wake of the Black Saturday Bushfires to redevelop the Rebuilding Advisory Centre as an arts and tourism space. The redevelopment was completed with additional funding from the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund and the Victorian Economic Recovery Fund. In total, $500,000 was provided for the refurbishment and $500,000 for operational funding for five years. The centre was formally opened in 2018. The funding installments have finished. All staffing is paid for through this funding, currently 1.2 FTE (full time equivalent).
Council said at the time of the MOU signing, between MTBT and three arts groups, that council would not be providing any further funding, either at the time of signing or after the five years. It was expected that it would be self-sustaining after five years, or would have found additional funding.
Murrindindi Shire Council funds 1.1 FTE for shire-wide visitor services, with these roles operating out of Yea. The outcome of the recent shire tourism review is believed to be currently under discussion.
It was estimated in the 2019-2025 Murrindindi Shire Tourism and Events Strategy that 40,000 people annually visit MiRa. Marysville attracts many visitors from Melbourne, as well as interstate and international.
There have been various ideas for how the centre could maintain or re-think its operations, however opinions have varied as to their viability or appropriateness.
The fact remains however that the community needs to start developing ideas to help MiRa to continue on an ongoing basis.
Image: An exterior shot of MiRa from the Marysville Tourism website.