Businesses urged to back plan to save harbour festival
By SAM BENGERsamb@gladstoneobserver.com.au
RON Streeter has a plan to save the Gladstone Harbour Festival, and it's not going to cost a fortune.
As president of the Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Streeter is urging local businesses to get behind the festival and help cover the $70,000 loss made this year, the biggest loss in its 43-year history.
'Last time I heard, there were 1300 businesses in Gladstone, and if they all put in $50, it would raise $65,000 for the festival,' Mr Streeter said.
"Everybody benefits from the festival, and even businesses not directly related to it, like corner stores and places, would lose an amount of income if locals didn't stay in town for the Easter long weekend.'
Mr Streeter said even his business, Ron Streeter Motors, benefited from the Harbour Festival, with showmen spending money on their vehicles in preparation for the festival.
'There's one guy who's been here two or three times during the festival, so there are opportunities for all types of business to benefit from it and if it wasn't around people would be more likely to go away for that weekend and businesses would suffer,' he said.
Mr Streeter said the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race had gone a long way to promote the area, but without the Harbour Festival it would be a 'non-event'.
'The festival's been going for a long time, it's won awards and it's well-recognised across the country ? to let it die would be a disaster, so I hope businesses will get behind it,' he said.