Shock changes at local tourism top

THE Tourism Noosa board has announced the appointment of a new chairman and vice-chairman after the shock resignation of Geoff Rickard and his deputy Rick Cooper last Friday.

Tourism Noosa on Friday afternoon released a statement that Steve McPharlin had been elected as chairman, while Stephen Ferrigno would be his deputy.

Mr McPharlin owns the Boathouse Restaurant in Noosaville and Mr Ferrigno is general manager of the Sheraton Noosa Resort and Spa.

No reason was given for the resignation of Mr Rickard, Mr Cooper and board members Boyd Williams and Jane Fraser, but it is understood there had been entrenched differences between Mr Rickard and some of the board.

"I resigned as a matter of principal," Mr Rickard told the Noosa News yesterday.

"I was in an untenable situation."

Mr Rickard said he did not wish to discuss the reasons for his resignation beyond that.

Mr McPharlin expressed gratitude to the former board members for their contribution to the tourism industry.

"Without their passion and input over the past 15 to 20 years, the tourism industry in the Noosa region would not be as strong as it is today," the chairman said.

"The Tourism Noosa Board looks forward to continuing their legacy of great support and leadership in working for the region's tourism industry and the interests of our members."

The board members' resignation follows promotion of Tourism Noosa's marketing and media director Diane Ainsworth to general manager and then her subsequent relinquishing of that postion to return to her promotional duties.

Topics:  tourism

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