Mildura’s Councillor for Tourism Festival and Events Cr Mark Eckel has welcomed the private visits of Mayor John Arnold and aCr Max Thorburn to the Tamworth Country Music Festival to forge links between the Mildura and Tamworth Festivals.
Cr Eckel said in the future Mildura must seriously consider increasing the Grant budget for our major events if we are to continue to capture the lucrative festival events market.
“We really are kidding ourselves if we think we can expect festivals like the Mildura Country music festival to continue to have an economic impact of between $6 & $8 million dollars per event with a council grant of $30, 000”
Cr Eckel said he was aware that The Tamworth Regional Council had injected $1.6 million into the 2012 festival which ended on Sunday resulting in estimated $50 million return to their City economy.
“As a council I believe we need to take more responsibility in supporting our events but it must be in partnership with the Tourism Industry.”
“If we are to increase our monetary support then we must establish an ambassadorial strategy, widening our accommodation options and insist on event organisers to have an appropriate succession planning strategy for their incorporated body.
Close to $320,000 in Mildura Rural City Council funding – which falls under the Events and Festivals Grants program – has been made available between 2010-12, with $45,000 left in reserve for any new events or initiatives.
More than $180,000 was issued for events held this year, with the remainder spread over a two year period.
“Not a bad investment for an annual economic return of around $24 million to the local economy but with greater community participation and a new approach to our major events, increased funding could reap us even bigger returns,” Cr Eckel said.