30th March 2017


Nearly 340 collective years of service – that is the staggering years of donated time from thirty (30) wonderful volunteers over as many years at The Spire Visitor Information Centre on Gladstone Road in Rockhampton which has been managed by Capricorn Enterprise and its predecessor Organisation Capricorn Tourism for three decades.

 The Spire Visitor Information Centre services about 40,000 visitors per annum and thousands of phone call enquiries.  Information requests include not just for the city of Rockhampton, but extensive enquiries for products to the north, south, east and west, and sometimes as far away as Perth and Hobart!.

Last night, Capricorn Enterprise honoured the incredible service of these wonderful volunteers at a Volunteer Ambassador Appreciation Dinner at the Leichhardt Hotel with Board Members, Staff, Members and guests, as the Organisation hands over the management of The Spire Visitor Information Centre to Rockhampton Regional Council tomorrow, Friday 31st March 2017.

 The Rockhampton Regional Council, which owns the Visitor Information Centre building, has chosen to resume the monthly lease and manage the VIC with Council staff, as they have made a budget decision to expand their tourism services within the city’s boundaries, rather than contract Capricorn Enterprise for $100,000 per annum to operate the Visitor Information Centre 7 days a week as well as provide Destination Marketing services on behalf of Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ).

 Capricorn Enterprise chief executive Mary Carroll said “I am in absolute awe of these wonderful volunteers, who have donated their time over many years assisting visitors and locals in Rockhampton, with bus and train bookings, as well as numerous enquires including accommodation, tours, vets, chemists, doctors, mechanics, banks, supermarkets and much more.”

 “Joan McCamley is our longest serving volunteer who has clocked up over 25 years of voluntary service at The Spire, with many others reaching  5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years, which is simply outstanding” she said.

 “We are extremely proud that our wonderful volunteers will utilise their years of extensive training with us about product to the north, south, east and west, and continue as volunteers at The Spire VIC under the new management of the Rockhampton Regional Council” she said.

Ms Carroll acknowledged the incredible efforts of Michelle Pownall, whose last day as Visitor Information Centre Supervisor at The Spire will also be tomorrow, Friday 31st March 2017.

 Michelle commenced with Capricorn Enterprise as a Tourism Trainee in 2009 and after completing her Certificate IV in Tourism, was employed as the Visitor Information Centre Supervisor for Capricorn Enterprise, a job she has loved for the past eight (8) years.                                                     

 Ms Carroll said “Managing a Visitor information Centre with a staff of thirty volunteers is a job that takes patience, persistence, understanding and leadership which are qualities Michelle can be proud of.  Our volunteers will truly miss her, and her, them.”

“These wonderful people have been through floods and cyclones, when the Visitor Information Centre has been flooded from under the doors and through the roof.  They have had the occasional break in and even unwanted reptile visitors and yet all the while their concern has always been for the visitor, before themselves!” she said.

 Capricorn Tourism and Economic Development Ltd (trading as Capricorn Enterprise) is one of thirteen (13) official Regional Tourism Organisations (RTO’s) as recognised by the Queensland state government.  Our tourism footprint stretches from the Central Highlands in the west to the Keppel Islands in the east, and includes the main tourism precincts of Carnarvon Gorge, Sapphire Gemfields, Great Keppel Island, the Capricorn Coast (Yeppoon/Emu Park) and Rockhampton region.

 Capricorn Enterprise will continue to own and operate the Yeppoon Visitor Information Centre and will continue to work with The Spire Visitor Information Centre staff and volunteers in Rockhampton as it does with all Accredited Visitor Information Centres in Queensland.