Donnybrook’s plan for quick recovery

Headshot of Nicolette Barbas
Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
Donnybrook shire president Brian Piesse with chief executive officer Benjamin Rose.
Camera IconDonnybrook shire president Brian Piesse with chief executive officer Benjamin Rose. Credit: Nicolette Barbas

Home to some of the biggest events in the South West that had to be cancelled due to unfortunate circumstances, Donnybrook-Balingup Shire Council has big plans to help boost the tourism sector once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

Chief executive officer Ben Rose said the council approved a dedicated recovery team at the special special council meeting last week.

“Councillors and staff are working collaboratively and diligently on strategies appropriate to the recovery phase of the pandemic while balancing the needs of the community,” Mr Rose said.

“With our local recovery taskforce in place they can focus on two concurrent directions, one being the economic assistance we can provide, the other being the community assistance.”

Mr Rose said the council had a plan in place to help support tourism post pandemic.

“Cancelled events has been a really big issue for Donnybrook as we were approaching some of our biggest events in the year,” he said.

“We are working alongside Collie with tourism providers and suppliers to provide wrap-around visitor packages which will assist the tourism sector once the movement and isolation restrictions are lifted.

“Whether people want to travel within their State to go on a girls’ trip or a mountain biking trip we will have a package to suit and I think this will really help boost tourism.”

As well as implementing a range of complementary measures to ease economic and social impacts arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the council has set a zero per cent rate increase for the 2020-21 budget. Shire president Brian Piesse said the council was taking steps to help relieve financial pressure on residents within the community, putting their health and safety first.

“Facility lease payments for community and sporting groups in shire facilities have been waived and payment of self-supporting loans (to community groups) during 2020 have been deferred,” he said.

“We are also working with local accommodation providers to assist backpacker workforce availability, stability and pandemic education.

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