Burnett festivals put on notice to subsidise themselves
ICONIC North Burnett events have been put on notice to potentially subsidise themselves, following extensive debate between councillors.
A report endorsing major event grants was tabled at the North Burnett Regional Council's general meeting on May 26.
Grants were proposed for the Eidsvold Bush Spirit Festival, the Eidsvold Cattle Drive, the Gayndah Orange Festival, and Monto's Festival of the Three Moons.
Each grant included amounts between $2,750-$4,000 of funding, and in-kind support up to $5,000.
Several councillors endorsed the report, saying the value these festivals bring to the region would be "money well spent".
A lengthy discussion then ensued, with deputy mayor Robbie Radel stating a policy review should be completed for long running events such as the Gayndah Orange Festival, and Monto's Festival of the Three Moons, formerly the Dairy Festival.
"It concerns me when council are looking for ways to trim our budget, and we're ensuring events are going forward in the future," Cr Radel said.
"We have a festival … that has a substantial bank account tally, I'm questioning whether we should be giving money from our tight budget into events that have been running for a long time."
The iconic citrus themed event has been running biannually in Gayndah since 1957, becoming a major draw card for the region to attract tourists.
"I'm in support of the in kind support to the festival, and to all major event in our region," he said.
"But perhaps there should be a rigorous review to be put into place to show that they need the money."
Mayor Rachel Chambers and councillor for division three Susan Payne agreed with Cr Radel's statement, saying they shared the vision of sustainable community events.
It was agreed further investigations should be made into these grants, with the grants being approved by a majority vote.