13/08/2008 - 22:00

Engineering results

13/08/2008 - 22:00

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The appointment of Australian Football League legend Graham Moss to head the state's peak tourism industry lobby may seem a curious choice to some, but for those who have worked with the no-nonsense operator, it's far less of a surprise.

Engineering results

The appointment of Australian Football League legend Graham Moss to head the state's peak tourism industry lobby may seem a curious choice to some, but for those who have worked with the no-nonsense operator, it's far less of a surprise.

Mr Moss admits going through a steep learning curve since taking up his new role as chief executive of the Tourism Council of WA in March, despite bringing some tourism experience to the role.

"[At the] WA Sports Centre Trust, we ran some major sporting events, so I was involved in tourism to a certain degree, event tourism," he said. "I've dealt with some of the accommodation providers, tour companies and the like. I've been involved with government as well, and have kept contact with various ministers."

Publicly, Mr Moss is probably best known for his football achievements. After moving from Claremont to Essendon in 1973, he played 84 AFL games for the club before becoming captain in 1976.

That year, he also won the Brownlow Medal, the first Western Australian football player to do so.

He returned to Claremont the following year, taking up a captain-coach role, before leaving the club in 1986 to become inaugural general manager of the West Coast Eagles football club.

But Mr Moss's corporate career didn't start there.

A civil engineer by profession, he worked as an engineer during his football career, both in Victoria and WA, and even dabbled in real estate to supplement his income.

"When I played football, it was something that you did for fun," Mr Moss told Business Class.

Appointed chief executive of the WA Sport Centre Trust in 1990, Mr Moss oversaw the trust's expansion, from managing just Challenge Stadium to including Arena Joondalup, Speed Dome and Kwinana Motorplex in its portfolio.

And with the trust now preparing to undergo another expansion period, as it takes on ownership of the new Perth Arena and the new facility to replace Perry Lakes, Mr Moss said it was a good time to bow out.

"I thought, I've been through one expansion phase; it was probably time to hand over the reins to someone else to take it through the next expansion phase," he said.

Coming into the Tourism Council mid-way through a restructure, he said the council now had a more focused approach with a smaller staff and well-defined roles.

"We just needed to assess what our core businesses are and (ensure we) have the right people doing the right job," Mr Moss said.

He said the council aimed to continue its good working relationship with government body Tourism WA, and would lobby for government to play a greater role in supporting the industry and encouraging tourism developments.

"One of our main issues for government, whichever government it is, is to continue to increase funding to Tourism WA to enable them to market tourism in WA," Mr Moss said.

"We think $50 million is about right, or the minimum. We see that there should be an allowance for one-off opportunities, for example the film Australia.

"I think the government needs to look at further incentives to encourage tourism developments.

''The government needs to play a more active role in providing incentives for investors, not only for hotels, but also for product. We need more product."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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