FORCING not-for-profit organisations to pay $275 to join Taste Orange before they can promote their events is an “extraordinary” move that should be reviewed, according to councillor Neil Jones.
Cr Jones and councillor Chris Gryllis said they had received complaints from members of groups disgruntled at having to pay to join the tourism promotion body in order to promote their events.
“Anyone who wants to put a brochure in the tourist information centre has to join Taste Orange,” Cr Jones said.
“I find it quite extraordinary that a not-for-profit organisation that is doing something for the benefit of Orange would have to join Taste Orange.”
Mayor John Davis agreed.
“We’re working against ourselves,” he said. “It was a pretty abrupt decision.”
Gnoo Blas Classic Car Club president Denis Gregory said members were told they would need to pay to join Taste Orange and an additional $75 to promote the annual car show in the program for the inaugural Banjo Paterson Festival next year, despite the festival clashing with the club’s long held car show date.
“We don’t believe we should have to pay Taste Orange to be recognised as one of their events,” he said.
“Joining Taste Orange has no benefit to us, they’ve never promoted our car show.”
Mr Gregory said the original organisers of the Banjo Paterson Festival agreed to leave the weekend of February 8 and 9 free for the car show.
But when Taste Orange took over other events were also added to the weekend.
Taste Orange executive officer Rhonda Sear defended the charges, but said the group was in discussion with council about how to promote not-for-profit groups.
“We develop a lot of different flyers ... and they cost money to produce and promote,” she said.
“When we’re approached by not-for-profit organisations to be included we have to be up front with them, there is a cost and we’re also not-for-profit.”
Ms Sear said the group was considering contra deals with not-for-profit groups in lieu of paid membership.
“It’s not about getting members ... it’s about making sure we have an even playing field,” she said.
“We may look at having a criteria in place about who should pay and who shouldn’t
Mr Gregory said the club rarely made money from its annual car show, but funds that were slowly building up would be directed into a new building being planned for Sir Jack Brabham Park.