HookUp hits a snag with funding
FUNDING for the Boyne Tannum HookUp has hit a snag after Gladstone Regional Council only approved $10,000 in financial assistance for this year's event.
The BTHU Committee had requested $56,800 in funding for the May 4-6 fishing competition but were left feeling undersized with its allocated amount.
The decision to grant $10,000 towards the HookUp was made by the council's Major Events Advisory Panel, which has a $200,000 war chest for the 2017/18 financial year to provide funding assistance for major Gladstone events.
HookUp received $15,000 from the MEAP last financial year, with the panel previously supporting events such as the Harbour Festival, Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, Mt Larcom Show, 1770 Festival and the Agnes Blues and Roots Festival.
MEAP chair Cindi Bush said the $56,800 request was one of the biggest the HookUp committee had submitted.
"We aren't here to shut people down, we're here to grow and nurture events but we don't have a bottomless pit," Cr Bush said.
"It's a fantastic event and very well received, but so are our other events in the region as well."
Sustainability is one of five criteria MEAP uses to grade funding applications and Cr Bush said this was one of the factors involved in the panel's decision.
"The whole idea is to teach and lead them to a sustainable level so they can take advantage of funding from other levels of government like Tourism and Events Queensland because we don't have the ability to offer those funds."
Boyne Tannum Hookup Association president Jennifer McGuire was careful not to bite the hand that feeds them, but was disappointed the panel had recommended such a low figure.
"That money doesn't even cover the infrastructure to bring into the park," Ms McGuire said.
"The $10,000 doesn't cover the two semi-trailer loads of toilets we bring in, the equipment hire in the park and it certainly doesn't cover the cost of the audiovisual provision to host 10,000 people in the park to see promotional draws and entertainment.
"The committee are disappointed, however we don't want to speak negatively of the council because they have been very supportive of the event."
Ms McGuire will hold a meeting with the council on March 26 to try and drum up further funds.
"The reason we requested such large funding was we're working on a strategic plan and a part of that plan is we are hosting a new teams event," she said.
"The whole idea of the teams event is to get interstate fishers on board to try and out-fish our locals. It's a teams campaign with a maximum of four people.
"We were asking council to support the promotion and prizes for the new teams event that's going to draw in more tourists.
"We're also bringing in Rob Paxevanos from Fishing Australia to the event this year and that was to align with our strategic direction of nationally known, internationally recognised.
"The number-one fishing show in Australia is called Fishing Australia, so if you're going to get somebody here, you get Rob Paxevanos.
"We were hoping seeing as though council paid to bring Sunrise up here for a morning that they may wish to contribute something towards bringing Rob up.
"Rob is coming up for an entire week and we're still going ahead with it, but it means potentially the $100,000 we give away to community groups may not be as much this year because we're going to have to fund the teams event and prizes."