The Weatherill Labor Government’s decision to relocate South Australia’s Visitor Information Centre to James Place has done the state’s tourism industry a great disservice.
"Having inspected the latest location for the Visitor Information Centre this morning I am now convinced that the Weatherill Government’s cheap as chips option has delivered a dud location for the Centre," said Shadow Minister for Tourism David Ridgway.
"The obvious location for the Tourist Information Centre is Rundle Mall or King William Street – not tucked away in James Place.
"It’s worth noting that the original decision to move the Visitor Centre from King William Street was because of the $1.4 million annual cost of running the Centre.
"Two weeks ago the Weatherill Labor Government found an additional $2.0 million to create a new Ministerial office for Martin Hamilton-Smith but can’t find enough funds to operate an effective Visitor Information Centre.
"This is a question of priorities and the Weatherill Labor Government has got theirs all wrong on this important driver of tourism in South Australia," said Mr Ridgway.
In 2011, the Centre was ordered to move from its high-profile King William Street office to an underground basement in Grenfell Street.
It was later discovered that the underground Grenfell Street building to which the Visitor Centre relocated was owned by Mr Bob Foord and the move was initiated while Mr Foord was chair of the Tourism Commission.
In 2012, the Centre then moved to the Service SA building on North Terrace.
"This is the fourth location for the centre in as many years and the Minister has managed to get it wrong once again," said Mr Ridgway.
"South Australia’s Visitor Information Centre should be in a prominent location – not hidden in some alleyway or in an underground basement."