The State Liberals have been informed that the Visitor Information Centre won’t be taking bookings from tourists when it moves into James Place and replaces public sector employees with volunteer staff.
Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell needs to clarify whether the Visitor Information Centre will continue taking bookings, precisely how may public sector positions will be made redundant and what training volunteers will have before beginning work in the Visitor Information Centre.
“The capacity for the Visitor Information Centre to take bookings is particularly important for the viability of smaller tourist operators in South Australia,” said Shadow Tourism Minister David Ridgway.
“It would be a cruel blow to these smaller operators if the Weatherill Labor Government was to cut the bookings capacity from services provided by the Visitor Information Centre as part of a downgrading of the operation.
“Given the importance of tourism to the South Australian economy it is also very strange that Minister Bignell has decided to cut the number of public servants working at the Centre and replace them with volunteers.
“If the Centre’s paid employees need to be replaced by volunteers they are clearly not surplus to requirements. I trust these volunteers will be trained to the same level as the public servants they replace.
“The Weatherill Labor Government has bungled the handling of the Visitor Information Centre in the past four years and I’m concerned these latest revelations are a continuation of that mismanagement
“James Place is the fourth location for the Centre in as many years and the Minister has managed to get it wrong once again.
“South Australia’s Visitor Information Centre should be in a prominent location – not hidden in some alleyway or in an underground basement,” Mr Ridgway said.