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Ryan: skimpy tourist guides are the future

9 June 2005

By Amanda Haines of the Busselton-Dunsborough Mail

SKIMPY tourist guides are the way of the future, according to newly elected Busselton shire councillor Anne Ryan, pictured.

"I'd like to see some nice young people in skimpy costumes handing out maps to tourists in town," said Cr Ryan.

"It's something a bit different and quirky which would attract people to Busselton - tourism is the backbone of our region and we need to work on that."

With six new councillors elected to the Busselton Shire Council, Cr Ryan believes it is an exciting time.

Cr Ryan was elected in the Central Urban ward and joins fellow first-time councillors Don Hanran-Smith (West Rural), Fraser Smith (West Urban), Bethwyn Hastie (East Rural), John Triplett (Central Urban) and Alan MacGregor (East Urban).

Cr Ryan said she ran for council because she felt "we needed some new blood and new vision", a sentiment that was echoed by Cr Triplett.

"It's a younger group and a more active group," he said.

Cr Triplett stressed the importance of the new councillors learning how council worked.

"We need to consolidate collectively as soon as possible," he said.

"If we are not made aware of what is happening, then things will soon stop happening."

Cr Hanran-Smith said he hoped to avail himself of the knowledge of the more experienced members of council.

"I have just been appointed to a committee with Helen Shervington, a councillor of vast experience and knowledge, and I am hoping to be mentored by such experienced councillors," he said.

For Cr Hanran-Smith, who lives in Yallingup, and Cr Smith, who lives in Dunsborough, the decision to run for council was in part made to ensure local representation of their wards.

"I thought it was important to have a local resident from Dunsborough representing the ward," said Cr Smith.

"You have got to live in the area to understand the issues."

Of the issues facing the area, development and tourism are seen as the most important by the new councillors.

"Intelligent development of the area is a primary concern for me," said Cr Hanran-Smith.

"There needs to be more care in development to ensure our beaches and sand dunes survive the increased pressure."

One of Busselton's main tourist attractions, the Busselton Jetty, will be the focus for council in the near future, with Cr MacGregor calling it a major issue.

"We really need to get it sorted out," he said.

Cr Hastie agreed, citing the importance of tourism to the area.

"Tourism is important whether we like it or not and we do need the tourist dollar," she said.

"The major issue is the jetty because it's our biggest tourist drawcard."

With so many new faces on council, Cr Triplett said he hoped communications between the council and its ratepayers would be improved.

"Our shire suffers because we do not communicate well - if our rates go up, we need to tell people why," he said.

As reported in the Busselton Dunsborough Mail last week, a rate increase of 4.5 per cent for the 2005/06 financial year will be voted on at tonight's council meeting.

Copyright 2005 by Rural Press Ltd. This report is for information only in order to inform readers about the this Rural Press Ltd report. No charge for such use is made and the material is not being used for commercial purposes. The text has not been modified from the original report.

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