New Year's Eve fireworks: Orange gets more bang for their buck

ORANGE’S New Year’s Eve fireworks may have cost twice as much Bathurst’s but the extra expense was worth it, according to the event’s organiser Peter McCormack, with the party raising $4834 for charity.

Bathurst Regional Council has shelled out $10,000 on fireworks each year for its last five Parties in the Park, while the fireworks for this year’s McCormack Barber Party Under the Stars cost $20,000.

But the cost of rides, security, user-pay police and other incidentals pushed the total event cost up to more than $70,000, Mr McCormack said.

“We spent over $6000 on rides ... if we didn’t have the sponsors we had this year we couldn’t have put it on ourselves,” he said.

“We nowhere near recoup half the money.”

Bathurst’s council pays for its entire New Year’s event and organises it in-house, whereas Orange City Council contributes $30,000 towards Orange’s party hosted by an event management company and topped up by financial and in-kind sponsors.

“Council are upholding their social obligation for the community, but they’ve done it in a smarter fashion than Bathurst,” Mr McCormack said.

“They’re certainly getting more bang for their buck because we’re all about making the evert work and giving money to charity.”

A Bathurst Regional Council spokeswoman was unable to say how much the Bathurst event cost in total, but said the main aim was to make it as affordable as possible for the community and discourage residents from having to leave the area to see in the new year.

“We make the activities free or subsidise it, the rides were only $1 each,” she said.

“All the feedback we’ve received has been positive ... we had 6000 people turn up to the event.”

Mr McCormack said the Orange event raised $4834 through gold coin donations collected on the night from the 4000-plus crowd, but organisers were working on ways to top up the funds to reach the target figure of $7500 to purchase an anaesthetic simulator for the Orange Health Service.

“Unfortunately there are some people who decide not to pay the gold coin donation, but there are others who are generous,” he said.

“We understand some families are doing it tough... it’s about giving them a cheap night of entertainment.”

Mr McCormack said when administration and staff costs were factored in, Orange’s event would have had more than double the amount of fireworks as Bathurst.

But the Bathurst council spokeswoman said Bathurst’s fireworks were just as good.

“From all accounts it’s a great fireworks display ... and lasts for over eight minutes,” she said.

“We’re very supportive of other regional areas having New Year’s events, the more in our area the more people stay and spend.”

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