Destination Tweed CEO Phil Villiers.
Destination Tweed CEO Phil Villiers.

$10,000 ask for Cooly Rocks On

ORGANISERS of the new Cooly Rocks On Festival have asked Tweed Shire Council for $10,000 to support the inaugural event in the wake of moves by senior council staff to blacklist the event.

Executive council staff have wiped the group’s application from a list of festivals which they recommend should be granted funding by councillors at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The reasons have been kept secret, with all details of applications hidden in papers marked “confidential”, in contrast to the council’s previous practise.

However Greens Party councillor Katie Milne has declared even the amount of the festival’s request seems too much.

“$10,000 is quite a large amount relatively speaking in what we give other festivals,” she said.

Festival chairman Phil Villiers, who is also CEO of the peak local tourism and business group Destination Tweed, fronted councillors at a community access session on Thursday to plead for the money, and let them in on progress for this year’s inaugural event in June.

Senior council staff have recommended councillors approve money for other festivals, including $7000 for the Murwil- lumbah Show, $6000 for the Tyalgum Festival and $2169 for the Murwillumbah Festival of Performing Arts.

Mr Villiers said the Cooly Rocks On Festival, which replaces the long-successful Wintersun event lured to Port Macquarie with NSW Government funding, already had $140,000 of cash and in-kind support from Gold Coast City Council, but some businesses were hanging back to see how the inaugural event went.

“Being the first year it’s been difficult to get through to some sponsors. Quite a few companies are actually sitting on the fence,” Mr Villiers told councillors.

However he added that clubs had shown support, particularly Twin Towns Services and Tweed Heads Bowls clubs, and the festival had received strong public support with 250 people attending a public meeting.



When: June 3-13.

Where: In Coolangatta and Tweed Heads

The festival would have a greater focus on Tweed than Wintersun events, with one of the four entertainment stages on the foreshore of the Jack Evans Boat Harbour.

Some resorts are already full during the main June long weekend of the festival and others were reporting 80% occupancy.

110 spaces have been sold for retailers and merchandisers of products based on ’50s and ’60s themes.

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