Quashed tender proposal will leave events in local hands

PASSIONATE councillors stopped a proposal for major event organisation in the Gladstone region to be put to tender after fears local groups would miss out.

Gladstone Festivals and Events will remain the organiser for SunFest, EcoFest and the Australia Day celebrations after Gladstone Regional Council rejected a proposal that other organisations be invited to express interest in this role.

"It's about building capacity in Gladstone Festivals and Events," Deputy Mayor Matt Burnett said.

"We may have got a better price from someone in Brisbane to do these events, but then we're not supporting our guys.

"Those guys are all volunteers.

"If we had to run these events in-house, there's no way people would volunteer for us."

Reporting requirements for Gladstone Festivals and Events will be tightened.

President Ray Lewis said his organisation was grateful for the council's support and would be happy to comply with reporting requirements.

"Everybody wants to know where their money is being spent, and we're happy to work with the council," he said.

Major events in the region will also be bigger and better if the newly established Major Events Advisory Panel has its way.

Community grants for groups who organise events will be doubled over the coming two years to $250,000 for 2015-2016.

The grants would continue to be distributed to organisations to help them stage events such as the Gladstone Festival, Mt Larcom Show and Gladstone Multicultural Festival.

Councillor Ren Lanzon was appointed chair of the panel at Tuesday's general meeting.

"As well as enhancing the economic health of the Gladstone region, these events also generate community well-being and encourage social inclusion, further promoting its liveability," he said.

Major events

Council grants this year:

  • Mt Larcom Show: $15,000
  • Gladstone Multicultural Festival: $4500
  • Gladstone Harbour Festival: $65,000
  • Captain Cook 1770 Festival: $10,000
  • Gladstone Show: $5000

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