Govt ?No? to funding Wintersun
By ED SOUTHORN
WINTERSUN director Barry McNamara has revealed his long-running, cross-border festival has been refused NSW government support funding because it is not held entirely in NSW.
Even though many key Wintersun events do take place south of the border, Mr McNamara said a Wintersun bid for $25,000 from the State Regional Flagship Events Program had failed.
Mr McNamara acknowledged the Queensland government also had previously rejected a funding bid from Wintersun because the festival was not entirely a Queensland event, while the federal government had provided some funds, including money for a feasibility study for a nostalgia museum.
Mr McNamara has been advised by NSW Tourism that Wintersun was "not purely held in NSW", only limited events funding was available for 2005 and 117 "highly competitive" funding applications had been received.
The advice was forwarded after Mr McNamara requested feedback from NSW Tourism on why Wintersun's funding application had not progressed beyond an expressions-of-interest stage.
He said it was absolutely ridiculous for the government to suggest Wintersun had been knocked back because it was not solely a NSW festival, when other major events in cross-border communities were funded as "flagship events" for 2005.
These included the Albury Wodonga Region Wine and Food Festival and the Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival.
Mr McNamara said Wintersun also had sought funding this year from the Queensland Government, but had not yet received a reply.
He said Wintersun's annual budget was about $500,000, with significant private sector sponsorship and ticket sales revenue.
Tweed MP Neville Newell said he had spoken with Tourism NSW officials who had since reviewed Wintersun's funding application and decided to offer in-kind support, comprising internet marketing on the Tourism NSW website.