Bigger awards role for Tamworth Regional Council

LOCAL civic leaders have moved to protect the integrity and intellectual property of the iconic Golden Guitar Awards.

Tamworth Regional councillors voted unanimously at Tuesday night’s ordinary meeting to endorse a notice of motion set down by councillor James Treloar that will see the council assume a greater role in the showcase event.

The notice of motion requested general manager Paul Bennett provide the council with a report outlining the “options available” to ensure the internationally recognised awards continued to be delivered to a high standard.

It comes in response to a number of embarrassing errors in the nomination process for the 2014 Country Music Awards of Australia (CMAA), which resulted in some previously named finalists in different categories subsequently being disqualified from eligibility and another artist then having to be put forward in their place.

Cr Treloar said there were “obviously concerns” surrounding the awards and it was “important to sit down and have discussions with the CMAA”.

Councillor Juanita Wilson said it was vitally important the credibility of the awards was maintained into the future.

“They are the pinnacle of the festival and we need to get that right,” she said.

“Tamworth needs protecting.”

Incoming CMAA president and Bushwackers frontman Dobe Newton said he “wholeheartedly supported” Cr Treloar’s notice of motion.

“Council’s offer to be more intimately involved is welcomed by the CMAA,” he said.

“We look forward to sitting down with them as soon as possible to talk through it. Anything that can lead to preserving and enhancing the awards is good with us.”

Earlier this week, True Blue singer John Williamson shocked the industry by standing down as president of the organising body, citing the “Americanisation” of Aussie country music as a major factor in his decision.

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