Greg Lawrence has “unexpectedly” resigned from his position as manager of tourism and economic development at Griffith City Council.
Council advised The Area News, “Mr Greg Lawrence has unexpectedly tenured his resignation. He did not provide a reason for his resignation and nor is he required to.”
Neil Southorn, director of sustainable development, was full of praise of Mr Lawrence’s five year tenure:
“Greg leaves Griffith in pretty good shape - the local economy is booming, new investors have been introduced, visitor numbers are good, Pioneer Park showing increased patronage, the Visitor Information Centre always a beacon of good service and a new Events Coordinator in place.”
“Greg has always made a robust contribution to policy matters over the years, with a number of initiatives and operational changes under his belt.”
Mr Lawrence’s performance has also been subject to criticism though, particularly from Griffith Business Chamber, who claim Mr Lawrence didn’t proactively promote Griffith’s economic interests and mismanaged tourism events.
Tourism management came under fire in 2016, when the music and entertainment festival La Festa was cancelled. Council said this was due to lack of volunteers.
Mr Lawrence’s departure will see planned changes brought forward.
“Council had resolved some time ago there be a service review of the tourism and development functions of council. This will now be expedited. Council will be appointing an acting manager for the duration of the review process,” Council advises.
Paul Pierotti, Griffith Business Chamber president, is calling for a separate economic and tourism entities, saying we could achieve much better results in both areas.
“A separate not for profit Griffith economic board should be established as a private sponsor and chamber and council partnership,” Mr Pierotti said.
Mr Lawrence’s last day of service will be 16 June.
He commenced the position in July 2012.
He was previously the director of the Deniliquin chamber of commerce. He and wife also owned a country pub in north-east Victoria.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.