Funding for the 2021 Orange Sustainable Living Expo has been cut amid concerns the celebrity speaker's fee made up most of the budget.
Orange City Council this week knocked back a request from the organisers for $7000 and the use of the Orange Showground for free for the October 24 event, instead offering $5000.
Council was told the celebrity speaker fee was $12,500 out of the $15,800 budget.
It seems the sustainable living week is not sustainable from a financial perspectiveCr Joanne McRae
And the only income in the budget beside council and the Rotary Club of Orange each contributing $7000 was $1000 from business and $800 from stallholders.
Event organiser John Mills said the $12,500 fee was needed to attract the likes of ABC science expert Dr Karl Kruszelnicki.
"It was based on Dr Karl Kruszelnicki because that was the most recent figure we had," he said.
Mr Mills said they could instead look to book War on Waste TV show host Craig Reucassel who was the star of the 2019 expo, where his fee was $10,500.
He said the event would go ahead and they were looking at attracting more funding support from business and other sources.
"We're happy the council has agreed to give us $5000. It's not as much as we asked for, but $5000, that's a third of the budget. That will certainly help us along the way," he said.
Mr Mills said the budget did not take into account the 'hundreds of hours' Rotary club workers put into running the event.
He said they saw the ongoing council funding as "part of council's responsibility" in promoting sustainability.
Mr Mills said a survey of the 1800 people he said attended the 2019 expo showed 25 per cent had indicated the appearance of Mr Reucassel was the reason they attended.
He said they had approached car manufacturers with electric vehicles who could display them at the expo.
Mayor Reg Kidd told council's meeting this week council had been funding the expo for 11 years and he had expected it would have become more viable and less reliant on council funding.
"Surely we have people in Orange with the skills and experience to be keynote speakers," he said.
"It's outlandish to be quite frank."
Cr Kidd said the event had 'really struggled' in some years.
Cr Joanne McRae said the event should look to make changes.
"It seems the sustainable living week is not sustainable from a financial perspective," she said.
Cr Stephen Nugent opposed the funding cut saying the event attracted a crowd and promoted sustainability.
"It has struggled, I acknowledge that." He said the 2019 event was held alongside Rotary markets.
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