As part of the preparation and planning for the upcoming budget, Council is reviewing all rates and charges including the Kuranda benefitted area special rate.
The special rate for the Kuranda benefited area funds Tourism Kuranda, a dedicated destination marketing and promotion program specifically for Kuranda.
Mareeba Shire Mayor Angela Toppin said Council is seeking feedback from business and property owners about the levy as part of the consultation process. “Council thought it would be timely to engage with property owners contributing to Tourism Kuranda to decide if they wish to continue paying this levy,” Cr Toppin said.
Council has written to the owners of properties identified within the Kuranda benefitted area with two options.
“In normal circumstances, we would hold a meeting inviting all the stakeholders to discuss the pros and cons of the special rate, however due to the COVID-19 government restrictions on social gatherings, we are not able to do this,” Cr Toppin said.
Council acknowledges the hard work and commitment of the Tourism Kuranda Advisory Committee.
“Tourism Kuranda has performed well and achieved its purpose to promote and market the Kuranda destination to attract visitors,” Cr Toppin said.
“It plays a vital role in the promotion and economic development of Kuranda.”
Councillor Toppin explained that all funds raised through the special rate are spent on tourism marketing, and more specifically on implementing the Tourism Kuranda program with strategic advice from the Tourism Kuranda Advisory Committee.
“If this special rate ceases, Tourism Kuranda will no longer exist,” Cr Toppin said.
“Tourism operators and business will then be responsible for making their own marketing arrangements as Council will not be spending any funds on the specific marketing of Kuranda as a destination.
“So please give this matter serious consideration before making your decision.”
A simple majority of ballots returned will form the basis of Council’s decision.