Lismore council scuttles tourism merger

By SAMANTHA TURNBULL

THE Lismore City Council has overturned its general manager's decision to give Ballina control of Lismore's tourism promotion.

But the reversal may be short-lived.

General manager Paul O'Sullivan last week put the Ballina Shire Council's tourism manager Liz Shepherd in charge of Lismore's visitor information centres.

The move was condemned at Tuesday night's Lismore City Council meeting by all councillors, excluding mayor Merv King, Cr John Hampton and Cr Peter Graham, who wanted more time for the arrangement to be explained.

Cr Graham Meineke's motion for the general manager to suspend the tourism collaboration and not reinstate it, was carried with nine votes.

"This is not an operational issue," said Cr Meineke.

"And certainly not one the general manager should have made a decision on without council."

Mr O'Sullivan, however, said the decision was within his rights.

"We've got a situation here where there is a huge gulf between the understanding of councillors and myself as to our respective responsibilities," he said.

"This is not a structural issue, this is not a policy matter ? it's a management matter."

Mr O'Sullivan will now seek legal advice to confirm whether he does need to consult councillors in order to enforce the merger again next year.



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