ROCK UP spokeswoman Grace Garretty is shocked and disappointed Orange City Council will not fund the youth music project in 2013.
Ms Garretty said she believed council was abandoning Orange’s youth and urged them to reconsider the decision.
“We got sent an email from council’s community service section saying they’re re-assessing the funding for Rock Up, which pretty much means they’re going to cut it,” she said.
“I put three years’ hard work into the Rock Up program, but that all amounts to nothing now if we don’t get funding from council.”
Ms Garretty said not only would Rock Up lose council support this year, the Youth Council was also set to be dismissed.
Orange City Council spokesman Alan Reeder said council was assessing the best ways to support youth programs in Orange.
He strongly dismissed Ms Garretty’s claim Orange’s youth were being overlooked.
“Youth strategies like Rock Up and the Youth Council tend to go in cycles. They start off with a bang, notch some great results and then after a few events they start to lose momentum,” he said.
“The Rock Up concerts worked really well. A lot of kids came along to the events. They were also great work experience for key organisers and some of them went on to work professionally in the event management and music industry.
“But those former teenagers now don’t want to keep coming to those concerts, and the council doesn’t want to keep imposing one idea on young people just because it’s worked in the past.”
But Ms Garretty said that was little consolation and young people would continue to support these programs.
“The Youth Council and Rock Up programs are the only ones that kids aged between 12 and 24 have access to,” she said.
“To cut these youth projects will have a really big negative effect.”
But according to Mr Reeder, council has every intention of finding new and exciting projects for Orange’s youth.
“The council is really open to what local young people want to do,” he said.
Ms Garretty said Rock Up organisers not given up hope of the program continuing in 2013.
“To have these concerts it costs a lot in insurance and without grants from council it’s simply not viable,” she said.
“All we want is an opportunity to show council this event can be a success with the youth and does have a future in Orange.
“We’re hoping that if we’re not allowed to continue Rock Up, that council will at least help us have one last farewell concert.”