The planned closure of three visitor information centres on the East Coast has shocked residents and business leaders.
On Tuesday Glamorgan Spring Bay Council voted to close down the visitor information centres in Bicheno, Swansea and Triabunna.
The decision was made during a closed section of the council meeting and a source said the original motion would have meant the centres, which are currently closed due to COVID-19, would not have reopened.
However after deliberation between the councillors the decision was made to provide a transition period with centres now set to close on October 31.
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Mayor Debbie Wisby said the decision aligned with their long term plan of delivering council's core services.
"It is not core business of council and under the Local Government Act council must deal with certain matters like; roads, footpaths, storm water and rubbish," she said.
"Like with any council there is limited funds and we need to deal with our core infrastructure, tourism visitor information centres is not one of those."
She said the closures would impact 10 employees, some of which would be transitioned into other roles at council.
The move is also set to save the council $360,000 a year, a figure which surprised Orford and Triabunna Chamber of Commerce president Greg Crump.
"The business community is shocked by the announcement ... we had no fore warning of it, we are surprised by the financial burden reported, disappointed the community was not consulted and it really shows a lack of support for tourism from the current councillors," he said.
Mr Crump, who also co-owns a bed and breakfast at Orford, said tourism was vitally important for all businesses in the area.
"Once again this council has just shown a total lack of respect for the ratepayers ... there has been no consultation, no warning," he said.
East Coast Tourism chair Kym Goodes said the organisation was disappointed by the council's decision to transition away from the centres.
"Tourism contributed $146.4 million to the East Coast economy in the previous 12 months," she said.
"The East Coast is the fifth most tourism-dependent region in the nation. It provides 1826 direct and 699 indirect jobs. Those indirect jobs included shops, service stations, tradesmen, farmers, transport, business support services and technology companies. We are talking about the lifeblood of these towns."
Ms Goodes said the impacts of the council's decision could flow on to operators.
"East Coast Tourism Tasmania is 100% focused on how we can provide support to the operators who will be impacted," she said.
"We want to work in partnership with the State Government through Tourism Tasmania and the Department of State Growth and the council to ensure there is an assessment of the needs of operators and appropriate models for bookings and visitor information can be established."
Cr Wisby said the decision to transition was aligned with the council's strategic plan released last September.
She said they were committed to working with East Coast Tourism and the Department of State Growth.
"We have organised a meeting with East Coast Tourism Tasmania and the Department of State Growth in the next fortnight to ensure we can work in partnership in the coming weeks to provide the outcomes needed," Cr Wisby said.
The Tasmanian branch of the Australian Services Union have started a petition to get the decision reversed.
Tasmanian coordinator Aaron De La Torre said it was unbelievable the decision was made behind closed doors and without consultation.
"These long standing and passionate workers are deeply distressed about their futures."
"This is yet another blow for the hard- working employees at Glamorgan Spring Bay Council.
"Council has been plagued by controversy in recent times. A high number of complaints and recent resignations continues to have us worried for the mental health and wellbeing of staff at Glamorgan Spring Bay."
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