Whitsundays officials slam 60 Minutes
WHITSUNDAY heavyweights have gone on the front foot and slammed Nine Network favourite 60 Minutes.
The renowned current affairs program aired a story from veteran reporter Charles Wooley titled 'Paradise Lost' on Sunday night, which focused on a number of Great Barrier Reef islands, including South Molle Island and Lindeman Island.
Tourism Whitsundays chief executive officer Tash Wheeler led a chorus of condemnation on the story, describing it as "nothing short of a ratings grab."
"This story was not a balanced look at Island resorts on the Whitsunday Coast," Mrs Wheeler said.
"While it could have been a sad, disheartening story, the fact of the matter is, the Whitsundays have relished in the re-opening of some of the most iconic island resorts following major refurbishments and redevelopment such as Daydream Island and Hayman Island."
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said the story was 'unfair on our hard-working tourism industry'.
"It would appear that 60 Minutes may have suffered the same fate as some of our islands... for decades 60 Minutes were at the peak of investigative reporting but sadly their ratings demise over the past decade has left them a decaying shell of their former credibility," Cr Willcox said.
"Our tourism industry deserves better and it is basically un-Australian for a media outlet to decide on an agenda that suits their storyline rather than present the true facts.
"The fact is that we now have seven resorts on islands open across the Whitsunday region most recently with Elysian Retreat, Daydream and Hayman island all welcoming guests."
Whitsunday Island resorts open are
* Palm Bay Resort
* Daydream Island Resort
* InterContinental Hayman Island Resort
* Hamilton Island
* Elysian Retreat
* Camp Island Lodge
* Whitsunday Apartments (Hamilton Island)
Tourism Whitsundays chairman Al Grundy said the region 'takes 40 per cent of all marine tourism into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.'
"Not to mention the largest fleet of charter and self-hire yachts in the Southern Hemisphere, providing over 600k bed nights per year on the water and access to the amazing array of Whitsunday islands," he said.
The Nine Network has been contacted for comment.