TAMWORTH Regional Council will provide the Tamworth Show with $30,000, as it transitions to its new home at AELEC, but the mayor has warned organisers the sponsorship is a one-off deal.
The new venue will be a dramatic change for the show, which will be held on August 31 to September 1.
Councillor Russell Webb said the move to AELEC had been more than six years in the making.
“This is going to be the Royal Easter Show of the north,” Cr Webb said.
“We’ve been waiting on this for quite a long time and, while it sounds like a lot of money, we talked about these figures some years ago.”
Mayor Col Murray pointed out there was no budget provision for the sponsorship, so the money was coming out of the council’s general fund.
“At the moment we are relying on our budget surplus to fund these events, but we may not always have a budget surplus,” Cr Murray said.
He encouraged councillors to think about how such events would be supported in the future, alluding to council’s proposed special rate variation, which would see business rates increase by 3 per cent per year for three years. The money raised would be used to attract major events to the region.
“I’d also like to remind the organisers that this recommendation is for a one-off sponsorship, so while I’m happy to support this application, I’m unlikely to support future applications,” Cr Murray said.
Manilla-based councillor Jim Maxwell voted against the sponsorship motion.
“I think I’d be shot, hung and quartered in my district if I supported this,” Cr Maxwell said.
“The other two small show societies in our area are struggling financially to even put on shows. In Manilla, we had a small profit last year, but we’ve actually spent all our reserves.
“As much as I share the the excitement of moving out there, I’ll be voting against this.”