Grant Cassidy has stepped up to the job of promoting the Rockhampton region.
Grant Cassidy has stepped up to the job of promoting the Rockhampton region. Chris Ison

'Cheap shot' at Cassidy's TV time

THE chair of the Capricorn region’s peak tourism and economic development body, Grant Cassidy, spends more than 1000 hours a year of his time promoting the region.

So he was pretty disappointed yesterday to find himself in the firing line because of his brief role in a Getaway segment which was produced to let the country know the Rockhampton region was once again open for business following this year’s floods.

Several negative posts were made on the Facebook site about his 14-second involvement.

The comments provoked a public stoush on the social website between businessmen Petros Khalesirad, who hosted the conversation, and Steve McCosker, a Capricorn Tourism and Development Limited board member who vigorously defended Mr Cassidy saying the attacks were personal rather than behavioural and destructive not constructive.

Mr Khalesirad claimed the board members were disengaged from the needs and expectations of its members.

Attacks focused on the section where Mr Cassidy declares the region open for business as he stands in the restaurant he owns, Cassidy’s.

The show, which aired on Thursday night and will air again today, featured a number of local attractions including The Great Western Hotel, John Lever’s Koorana Crocodile Farm and Seaspray Resort.

Mr Cassidy said the negative comments were cheap shots.

“I think it is outrageous that people would suggest for one moment I’m trying to do anything other than promote the region,” Mr Cassidy said.

“You have to question what positive attributes these people contribute to the community.”

He said all of the board members of the Capricorn Tourism and Economic Development Limited body he chaired were volunteers.

“It’s tough in this day and age to find people to give of their time freely,” Mr Cassidy said.

“These types of comments do nothing to encourage people to participate.

“We are all trying to do our best.”

He said tourism and business leaders were working hard to promote and develop the region.

After the merging of the region’s tourism bodies and economic development group, Mr Cassidy said the area finally had a united voice in what is a tough marketplace.

The organisation’s chief executive Mary Carroll said neither the chairman nor the board interfered with operational matters and the choice of Cassidy’s had been made by her team.

She said Cassidy’s was an award-winning restaurant which showcased the fantastic produce the Rockhampton region had to offer.

“To try and muddy the waters is nothing short of mischievous,” Ms Carroll said.



  • Getaway’s story, Rockhampton Revisit & Capricorn Coast, will go to air again today at 5pm;
  • Channel 9’s Getaway has been in our region twice in the past five months;
  • The value of a National TV promotion of this type is estimated at about $600,000 worth of airtime in purchasing fees;
  • The sites/operators chosen by the Capricorn Marketing team for Getaway (and other TV crews) are to obtain maximum exposure and variety.

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