With COVID-19 causing the cancellation and postponement of a number of events, Council this week resolved to provide support to community event organisers. At the April meeting, Council endorsed the payment of part or all sponsorship funding for events where a commitment was made in advance of the public health emergency.
Council will not seek reimbursement of funds provided as part of an event sponsorship agreement for those events that have been cancelled as a result of COVID-19.
– City of Mount Gambier CEO Andrew Meddle
A review of events auspiced by Council, such as the Mount Gambier Fringe Festival, is being undertaken for a further report to be presented to Council at a later date.
“As with support recently provided to community and sporting tenants there is a need for Council to take a consistent approach to how it deals with requests relating to event sponsorship payments.”
The Council’s latest response to COVID-19 is designed to reduce the financial impost on event organisers and is accommodated within the 2019/2020 budget, equating to approximately $250,000.
“Given the funding has already been committed the honouring of sponsorship payments is intended to maintain Council’s commitment to support these events,” Mr Meddle said.
The CEO said the provision of this financial support is intended to bring event budgets back to a “level financial position”.
“It is hoped that this simple approach will help to protect the interests of those organisations that will have a role to play in partnering with Council as part of the recovery phase which will hopefully lead to a widespread economic ripple post-pandemic.”
“The support for events clearly links to all three pillars of the ‘Our City, Our Response’ COVID-19 strategy,” Mr Meddle said.
City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin OAM said the Council acknowledge that the majority of community events are delivered by volunteers.
“We hope this support will go a little way towards securing the longevity of events in our city and provide some relief to those who contribute so much of their personal time and energy to deliver great local events for the community to enjoy.”
Organisers of Council sponsored events that have been impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to contact Council’s Events team to discuss their funding arrangements.
Stay up-to-date with Council’s response to COVID-19 at www.haveyoursaymountgambier.com.au/covid-19