By Jess Baker
Thirteen local events have been approved for state and federal funding under the 2019 Queensland Bushfires Community Recovery Package.
Southern Downs Regional Council approved grants totalling $230,000 for 2021-22 events – including Snowflakes in Stanthorpe, Jumpers and Jazz in July, and the Leyburn Sprints – at its ordinary meeting last week.
A report tabled at the 26 May meeting stated Round Two of the Local Events Funding Program (LEFP) opened on 1 March 2021 and closed on 25 April 2021.
During that period, the council received 45 applications requesting nearly $811,000.
With available funds for Round Two just $230,000, the LEFP assessment panel – comprising a Southern Downs councillor, a Southern Queensland Country Tourism representative and council officers – chose to nominate 13 projects.
Six applications will be fully funded and seven partly funded under the program.
The panel has allocated the most significant funding to Motorcycling Australia for the Motorcycle Insurance Australian Superbike Championship at $30,000.
Other major events that have been approved for funding include Gap Creek Moto’s Spring Sounds ($26,830), Warwick Show and Rodeo Society’s Warwick Rodeo and Gold Cup Campdraft ($25,000), and Killarney Show and Rodeo Society’s Killarney Bonfire Night ($21,206).
The report tabled at last week’s ordinary council meeting identified that the objectives of the LEFP program are to develop and strengthen the Southern Downs and Granite Belt events calendar and to generate local and visitor economic activity in the region.
“A successful well-run event can provide significant value to an area by adding jobs and money to the local economy and providing additional cultural and social benefits,” the report read.
“Recognising the importance of this industry, the LEFP was created to assist and support event organisers by providing a funding source to help develop and deliver successful and sustainable events that make a positive contribution to the Southern Downs regional economic outcomes.”
Southern Downs councillor Marco Gliori said he looked forward to attending a number of the events in the future.
“The support from this funding enables us to facilitate a strong calendar of events that underpins the strategic work we are doing to help local businesses and event organisers recover from the 2019 bushfires,” Cr Gliori said.
Other events set to benefit from the $230,000 grants program include the 2021 Snowflakes in Stanthorpe ($16,964), the 2021 Jumpers and Jazz in July ($20,000), the 2021 Historic Leyburn Sprints ($7,254), the Warwick Highland Gathering ($20,000), the 2022 South East Queensland Ulysses Club National Rally ($15,000), the Warwick Thistle Pipe Band Strategic Plan ($12,000), Granite Belt Weddings and Events’ Berries n Brews ($10,000), Stanthorpe Little Theatre’s 2021 Shakespeare under the Stars ($14,876) and the 2021 Queensland Motorists Re-Enactment Weekend ($10,868).