New event strategy for Warrnambool out for public comment

The city's manager of visitor economy David McMahon.

The city's manager of visitor economy David McMahon.

A draft framework for events in Warrnambool was considered by city councillors this week and has now been put out for public comment. 

The 2018-2022 event strategy comes after the controversial axing of the city’s Fun4Kids Festival. 

A council report said a review had considered the funding mix it allocated to events, the return on investment, the life cycle and potential for growth of events and the market segments attracted to different types of events.

The review determined that while the type of events Warrnambool was hosting, supporting and creating was strong, the mix needed to change.

“With the recent decision not to continue with the Fun4Kids Festival, significant funds will be channelled into a new portfolio approach which will allow new events, targeting grown markets to be seeded and supported by the council, broadening the type and spread of events throughout the year,” it said.

The strategy presents a framework for the council to:

  • Ensure the city’s events schedule reflects the council’s objectives;
  • Plan for divestment or enhanced involvement in a specific event;
  • Provide a seasonal events calendar to ensure a spread of season, location, function and activation while maintaining amenity and sustainability;
  • Strategically procure events on value for money terms and apply relevant performance measures;
  • Create a timetable and mechanism for planning that allows a long term view of our events schedule;
  • Develop capability within the community and industry to plan and deliver events;
  • Develop partnerships to increase investment and support of events in the Warrnambool region and;
  • Promote Warrnambool as a highly desirable place to live, work, visit and play.

The draft strategy proposes the creation of an Event Control Group (ECG) which would be tasked with assessing event proposals and providing a recommendation to the council.

“Importantly this single point of contact for event owners and organisers, provides a professional and streamlined administrative and permit issuing process for events conducted on high profile WCC managed spaces, such as the Civic Green and Lake Pertobe,” the plan says. 

In preparing the draft strategy Warrnambool City Council’s visitor economy manager David McMahon said there was community and stakeholder consultation with councillors, current event partners, Warrnambool and south-west event owners, sporting clubs, the RSL, schools, media and sponsor partners and peak bodies such as state level event stakeholders.

In passing the motion to put the strategy out for public consultation, the councillors said it had been an extremely difficult decision to axe the Fun4Kids Festival. 

The document will go out for public comment at the end of the month.