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Securing the future of Victor Harbor’s iconic horse tram

Following a comprehensive review, the City of Victor Harbor will forge ahead with plans to establish a new management authority for its Horse Drawn Tram.

The proposed authority will be governed by a board, yet owned by the council, and will oversee the operation of the iconic tourism attraction. This being similar to how the Fleurieu Aquatic Centre is managed. It is hoped that under the new board they may be able to achieve efficiencies which will lead to an increase in revenue, with the ultimate aim to bring the operation back to a break even position.

The decision follows the Victor Harbor Horse Tram Committee’s comprehensive 12 month review into the operation of the service. The committee’s work involved the review of around 20 years of records and reports as well as consultation with the community.

The review culminated in the presentation of a recommendations report at a special council meeting held on Monday, 16 October 2017. Key recommendations from the report included progressing the various steps required to establish a new management authority, insourcing the floating of the horses, and other initiatives to increase efficiency and revenue.

There was unanimous support for all the recommendations presented at the special council meeting with elected members commending the efforts of the Horse Tram Committee.

“The Horse Tram Committee’s review was extensive, and largely done in a voluntary capacity. Members spent hours poring over documents, researching, and talking to tram staff and the community during the year-long review. I commend them on their outstanding effort,” said Mayor Philp.

“The committee have been working in line with the mandate of council and the community to safeguard the future of the unique tram service in Victor Harbor.”

“The Horse Drawn Tram is iconic to Victor Harbor offering a unique link to our history. It is one of the many reasons that people from around the world come to visit. Its future must be protected.”

“The establishment of the new management authority will build a strong foundation for the tram to achieve sustainability, and reduce the financial burden on ratepayers.”

It will cost $39,600 to establish the management authority, but the committee’s report suggests the investment has the potential to save the operation significantly in the long run. Similarly the purchase of the float is expected to save the tram service close to $75,000 over two financial years.

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