Islander editorial: Visitor centre and other KI council debates

The KI Council at its October meeting received the Visitor Information Services Options Paper developed by Kangaroo Island Tourism Food Wine and Beverage Association and KI Commissioner.

Councillors then passed a motion to have council administration develop a costed plan of having visitor information services set up at Kingscote, the KI Airport and also at the Pennshaw Community Business Centre.

Clr Graham Walkom successfully added an amendment that these only be temporary measures until such time as the Kangaroo Island Tourism Food Wine and Beverage Association can set up a digital visitor information presence.

Mayor Michael Pengilly said there would be some cost to the council to set up the visitor information services, but that this was the best way forward in the short term. The council continues the slow process of having the old visitor centre at Penneshaw revert back to the council's control so it can be put for expressions of interest for a private operator.

Clr Bob Teasdale added a clause that the council continue to work with Kangaroo Island Tourism Food Wine and Beverage Association, because he said that organisation was best placed to move forward with either a physical or digital presence.

The Islander believes the council needs to come up with a solution as we are headed into the busy summer tourist season without a visitor information centre. Despite calls for a digital presence, visitors still like to have a physical location and friendly faces where they can go to get information.

The council on Tuesday also discussed new beach access signage that will make it clearer where people can and can't drive on KI beaches. The new signage will apparently cost $4600 to install. The council stopped short of approving the new signs until it can work out how they will be funded out of the budget. - Stan Gorton