AUSTRALIA Day activities at Cook Park could get a whole lot cheaper for Orange residents if council agrees to subsidise the cost of the rides.
The idea was floated at a recent council meeting by councillor Scott Munro after complaints from residents that they could not afford to pay for children’s rides, which cost $5 per turn.
Australia Day Community Committee chair Helen Corby welcomed the idea, but said the committee was proud of the fact it did not take a cent from council.
She said in the 12 years she had been at the helm, council had allocated the committee a budget but they rarely touched it.
“We’re all volunteers and we work very hard to do what we do,” she said.
“Some Australia Day celebrations are paid for by councils and they have massive budgets of $50,000 and they have things like fireworks and everything.
“But maybe if they subsidise the rides that might be the way to go.”
Mrs Corby said the rides were an integral part of the day because 25 per cent of the takings were donated back to the committee, which passed them on to an Orange charity.
This year $500 went to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.
Mrs Corby said the group was proud of its efforts to raise the money and thought it might be a bit strange to have the rides subsidised then hand the money to a charity.
“A different angle might be to subsidise the breakfast,” she said.
“I can negotiate to see if the rides could come down but maybe the breakfast is the way to go.”
The community breakfast included eggs, sausages, damper roll, juice, tea, coffee and apples for $8.
Mrs Corby said it was difficult to come up with a definite answer about the cost of the rides because the committee was not due to meet until later in the year and she would have to liaise with the provider of the rides.
“There are mixed feelings about it. Some people say it is too expensive and others say it is a freedom of choice,” she said.
“The company that provides the rides does support the city and they are very generous.”