Stakeholder Update | February 2019


Message from the Chair

Welcome to the first of our communications for 2019.

In conversation with fellow business operators, conditions continue to be challenging, particularly with increasing operating and utility costs, however it is pleasing to hear that many of our traditional summer destinations on the coast enjoyed strong trade due to the throngs of people heading to the coast to escape the prolonged heat. On the downside those same conditions and the drought continue to negatively impact industry, particularly in the Southern Highlands and Wollondilly areas. Let’s hope these conditions ease up so these areas get some relief and businesses can simply get on with doing business.

In 2019 we’ll continue to focus our resources on regionally significant activities aligned with the Sydney Surrounds South Destination Management Plan that will in the coming months, be updated in line with a number of recently released local and state plans. This updated plan will be distributed and available online when complete.

On our radar in the coming months are both State and Federal elections; on behalf of industry we’ll be continuing to advocate at all levels to lift the tourism and events portfolio in line with Visitor Economy impacts across the state both current and into the future. We’ll also continue our focus on advocating for the needed whole-of-government approach, at all levels, in relation to planning and development to enable operators to diversify and grow their business to make the most of the forecast growth of the visitor economy.

We’ll also be continuing to advocate and work with proponents to secure funding for the much-needed major infrastructure to support demand being experienced now and to meet future needs. The recent announcement of $15.97 million for upgrades to the Illawarra Regional Airport is a great example of a collaborative effort to secure funding for infrastructure upgrades; this will be a significant game changer that will provide social and economic benefits to the region, so congratulations to all involved in securing the funding. With the sods being turned at Badgerys Creek and our proximity to Canberra airport where direct international flights continue to grow, aviation strategies to stimulate growth in our region are in our projects plan.

It was also encouraging to see the announcement that the NSW Government has initiated a programme to promote the value of the night time economy as part of the overall visitor experience for regional NSW; a topic discussed at a recent Destination Networks planning session with Destination NSW. I encourage you to list your venue and events on the Night Time Events Directory here, as they are an attractor and motivator that drives spend in the local economy and encourages visitors to stay longer to the benefit of all.

Recognising that most of our industry on the South Coast, Highlands and Wollondilly are small businesses, I’d encourage all to tap into the resources available via DSSS and the various agencies who are there to help with business development, advice on product development, trade programs and training. As an example, DSSS recently assisted more than 15 event organisers in developing their funding application to the Destination NSW Regional Flagship Events Program.

Information on just some of these opportunities you’ll find in this newsletter however if there is other support you’re seeking don’t hesitate to reach out to our team via [email protected] or call Natasha McQueen on 0487-700-074. 

Kind regards and all the best to you in 2019.

Colin Waller
Chair, Destination Sydney Surrounds South

Supporting and Promoting the Night-time Economy
The NSW Government is committed to growing a vibrant, safe and diverse night-time economy across the state. To support artists, musicians, businesses and their local communities, interested stakeholders are invited to participate in the development of a night-time directory to increase community awareness of night-time related events and activities.

$15.97 Million Boost for Illawarra Regional Airport
Illawarra Regional Airport is set to receive $15.97 million of NSW Government funding under the NSW Growing Local Economies Fund, as announced by Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP recently. The project will include new terminal building and major upgrades to the airport related infrastructure.

Additional $919,105 Announced to Continue Upgrade of Nowra Showground
Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock was joined by members of the Nowra Show Society recently to announce $919,105 in NSW Government funding for the upgrade of Nowra Showgrounds. The funding awarded to Shoalhaven City Council for the works is provide as part of the NSW Government’s Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund.

Almost $2 Million Boost for South Coast Arts & Culture
Lady Denman Heritage Complex in Huskisson and Shoalhaven Regional Gallery in Nowra have won funding upgrades through the NSW Government’s $100 million Regional Cultural Fund. Announced by Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Member for South Coast Shelley Hancock earlier this month, the cultural attractions will receive $1.3 million and $600,000 respectively for new works.

Registrations for Local Government NSW Tourism Conference now open
Registrations for the annual LGNSW Tourism Conference are now open, for the event to be held 17 to 19 March 2019 in Terrigal. Read more and register here.

NSW Small Business Commissioner – Home Business Survey
Navigating the requirements to become a home-based business owner can be a minefield. To gain a greater understanding of these challenges the Small Business Commissioner recently launched a survey targeted at home-based business owners to ask about the government pain points faced, and what information and resources they need to start and grow.
All information is confidential and the survey takes only 10 minutes to complete. 

Creative Wollongong 2019 – 2024 Draft
Wollongong City Council invites interested stakeholders to have their say on the draft Creative Wollongong 2019 – 2024 document currently on public exhibition. The draft plan which builds on the previous Cultural Plan 2014 – 2018 has been informed by extensive community and internal engagement processes. The draft plan has four broad focus areas: creative life, creative community, creative spaces and places; and the City after dark. Feedback will be received until Tuesday 12 February 2019.

Wingecarribee Shire Council Draft Rural Tourism Policy
Wingecarribee Shire Council is currently seeking feedback on its draft Rural Tourism Policy. The purpose of the policy is to provide a strategic framework within which tourism, agriculture and the Shire’s unique environmental sensitivities can all mutually coexist. Submissions close Friday 1 March 2019

Cyber Security Small Business Program
Small businesses are encouraged to apply for funding to have their cyber security tested in a initiative provided by the Federal Government through the Cyber Security Small Business Program.
Applications close 30 June 2020, or when funds are fully expended.

National Disability Conference Initiative Grants
The Federal Government has announced $315,000 of funding to maximise the inclusion and participation of people with a disability at nationally-focussed, disability-related conferences in Australia.
Applications close 20 February 2019.

Regional Tourism Product Development Program
To encourage investment and development of tourism infrastructure, local government, tourism and sector organisations, and private enterprise are encouraged to apply for funding to implement projects across NSW. Proposals are to be submitted by 30 June 2019.

Regional Conferencing Seminars

You are invited to attend a FREE special industry seminar presented by Destination NSW to learn about how you can take advantage of the new Regional Conferencing Strategy & Action Plan, access valuable sources and referral opportunities.

Seminar One

DATE: Tuesday 5 February 2019
TIME: 9.30am – 11.30am
VENUE: Alexander Room, Mittagong RSL, Cnr Bessemar Street & Hume Hwy, MITTAGONG


Seminar Two
DATE: Wednesday 6 February 2019
TIME: 10.00am – 12.00pm
VENUE: The Pavilion Kiama, 2 Bong Bong Street, KIAMA


Seminar Three
DATE: Wednesday 6 February 2019
TIME: 2.00pm – 3.30pm
VENUE: Ocean Room, City Beach Function Centre, 1 Marine Drive, WOLLONGONG


Inbound Workshop

A practical workshop designed to assist tourism businesses, such as tours, attractions and accommodation, to plan the final steps to develop and sell export-ready tourism products to the international travel trade.
DATE: 6 June 2019
TIME: 10:30 – 15:45
VENUE: Destination NSW, 88 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, Sydney
COST: $50
Register now

On Demand Webcasts

NSW First program is designed to assist tourism businesses to develop, promote and sell their tourism products. The program includes online webcasts that offer ‘how-to’ insights on a range of topics including:

  • Flagship Events Program series
  • Export Ready 101 & Inbound Strategy series
  • Regional Tourism Fund series
  • Aboriginal Tourism
Learn more & watch now