Destination Rutherglen says it does have a place in tourism promotion, in the wake of Indigo Shire councillors shutting down a bid to take over management of the town's visitor information centre.
Consultants were commissioned to review the structure of tourism bodies related to the VIC, which resulted in council staff recommending its management be changed.
Councillors debated the merit of that move for one hour on Tuesday, with Bernard Gaffney leading the charge to strike out conditions that would threaten the current structure.
"There's been big changes to the board [of Destination Rutherglen], there need to be more changes, and that's why point six is in - requiring the chief executive to support Destination Rutherglen in assessing and determining its future - and not just cut it loose," he said.
"DR have always had the feeling, whether it be right or wrong, they're left to cope for themselves. DR is the only voice that Rutherglen's got in a big way."
In response to councillors' decision Destination Rutherglen Chairman Greg Duncan told The Border Mail the group was focused on moving forward.
"Destination Rutherglen welcomes the endorsement of Indigo Shire Council of its role as the voice for Rutherglen and has the desire to work with the whole community to promote and improve the region," he said.
Mr Duncan said the group ran a "tight ship" and he had been working to build a "Rutherglen-centric board" over the past two years.
"Board members have functioned extremely well in the past two years and we have lobbied for Indigo Shire to support Rutherglen and Wahgunyah in the same way we feel other parts of Indigo Shire are supported financially," he said.
"We have a place, and that's to support Rutherglen as a destination and strengthen community and business involvement where possible which is attractive for tourists."
An executive officer works under DR to run the VIC with the crucial support of about 20 volunteers.
"The Visitor Information Centre is one of the most well-visited information centres in the region with a thriving cafe, gift shop, bike hire and local information from highly experienced staff," Mr Duncan said.
"Destination Rutherglen welcomes the endorsement of Indigo Shire Council of its role as the voice for Rutherglen and has the desire to work with the whole community to promote and improve the region.
"Although we have been given the tick of approval from councillors, funding is critical, and the more support and recognition we have from stakeholders, the greater chance of success into the future, which will only benefit Rutherglen."
Destination Rutherglen was formed in 2010 after Winemakers of Rutherglen wound back involvement in the Rutherglen Wine Experience and visitor information centre.
Rutherglen Wine Region Tourism chair Marion Hansford at the time told The Border Mail the new group would give tourism in the region a "single voice".
Currently there is a relationship between Destination Rutherglen, the Rutherglen Wine Centre Board, Winemakers of Rutherglen, Council and industry representatives.
The final draft report done for council highlighted a "fragmentation and lack of focus and alignment of resources, marketing efforts, destination branding, and visitor and industry servicing, which dilutes the effect of efforts".
Cr Gaffney said the model needed improving but said the Rutherglen Wine Centre Board was important because it comprised councillors - himself and Cr Barbara Murdoch - who oversaw the provision of council money.
He said with $147,000 the board "runs the VIC, promotes Rutherglen, runs events and the Tweed Ride."
Community and economic development director Mark Florence said a truncated recommendation "wouldn't change anything".
"The purpose of this whole process and the report was focused on improving the visitor economy, and by any measure the visitor economy in Rutherglen is lagging compared with other parts of the shire and other parts of the state," he said.
"Destination Rutherglen was set up as a tourist association, it is funded to run the VIC, it's not funded to be a quasi community corporation, albeit the model has allowed that to happen.
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"[Cr Gaffney's recommendation] doesn't address the fundamental issue of improving the economic output of Rutherglen."
Cr Larry Goldsworthy urged his fellow councillors to "remember why we commissioned this report", including low overnight stays and majority of businesses in the town not being linked into the group.
"This is all about trying to make it better - if it does cost more money in the long run, and makes it better, than that's what we've got to do," he said, but was unsuccessful in convincing the majority of councillors to support the staff's recommendation.