NEWTON’S Nation can’t rely on handouts from Bathurst Regional Council to cover the cost of staging the event, say some Bathurst councillors.
The Western Advocate reported yesterday the extreme sports festival no longer has a home at Mount Panorama because it cannot afford to pay the track hire fee Bathurst Regional Council is requesting.
Council has previously waived or reduced the cost, however organisers have been advised they will need to pay the full fee of around $8500 from 2014.
Event co-ordinator Ben Perry this week said the burden of finding the extra funds had led to the cancellation of the event in Bathurst.
However, several councillors have said that, after receiving support from council for five years, Newton’s needed to be more independent.
Councillor Warren Aubin said council had “propped up” the event since its inception in 2008, and suggested organisers find more sponsors or increase their entry fees.
“This promoter, if they’re serious about running the event, needs to secure sponsors to cover the costs, not lean on the people of Bathurst. They can’t rely on handouts from council,” he said.
“We attract events that are able to pay for themselves and, while it’s always nice to have events in town that attract visitors, we can’t keep propping up [Newton’s] year after year.”
Cr Bobby Bourke echoed that sentiment, saying council needed to share funding around.
“You’ve got to look after all sporting and community groups, who are probably all feeling financial strain,” he said.
“Council will help out where it can – and we haven’t ruled out helping Newton’s in the future – but council shouldn’t have to wear the brunt of that. I think they’ve got to try harder.”