MOYNE Shire residents will get a chance to put their questions before council candidates at separate forums next week in the lead up to local government elections.
Tourism will likely dominate a gathering in Port Fairy, organised by both the traders and tourism associations.
Re-joining the Shipwreck Coast Marketing will be high on the agenda by tourism operators concerned by a drop-off in visitor numbers into the town.
“Moyne Shire pulled out of the Shipwreck Coast Marketing and since then we haven’t had a co-ordinated approach to marketing,” forum organiser Liz Foreman said.
Ms Foreman, a member of the Port Fairy Tourism Association, said the town had felt the “bite” after the council opted out of the regional tourism body in 2009.
“Once you stop the good work in marketing it starts to bite — we’ve seen it happen,” she said.
“We’ve done lots of positive work with the Moyne Shire and they’ve been really helpful.”
However, Ms Foreman said many of the 150-strong tourism association wanted to see a stronger marketing push for the seaside community.
Questions on keeping the town centre vibrant and the state of roads will also come from the floor.
Half of the sitting Moyne Shire councillors have so far promised to appear at the forum at St Pat’s Hall on October 17 at 7pm.
A similar forum during the last local government elections drew a crowd of about 100 people.
Meanwhile, election candidates invited to speak at another forum in Koroit on Wednesday, organised by the Moyne Residents and Ratepayers Action Group, will likely deal with scrutiny around planning permits.
Secretary Joan Williams told The Standard four of the nine candidates had promised to appear at the Koroit football clubrooms on Wednesday night at 7.30pm to hear the wider concerns from residents across the shire.
Members of the ratepayers’ group will seek answers from current members over the approval of 15 new homes during the past two years in Kirkstall, Port Fairy and Killarney.
“We also have a number of issues about the condition of the roads,” Ms Williams said.