BOLSTERING regional community events is a priority for South-West Coast independent candidate Mike Neoh.
He has called on whichever party wins the November state election to initiate a significant regional community events funding program to support volunteer committees.
Mr Neoh said money should be given to help community events stay viable and sustainable.
He said it shouldn't only be big-ticket events that received state government support.
“If elected I will develop an events program specifically to grow and develop existing community events such as the Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic, the Koroit Irish Festival, the 3-Bays Running Festival, Heywood’s Wood, Wine and Roses Festival, Moyneyana Festival, Wunta Festival, Indigenous celebrations such as the Tarerer Festival and environmental and sustainability festivals,” he said.
Mr Neoh said previously consecutive state governments had poured hundreds of millions of dollars into professional sports that were based in Melbourne such as the Grand Prix.
“In addition to the tourism benefits of regional festivals, my proposed three-year support packages for significant regional community events will reward the volunteer-based committees for their passion and help them to consolidate, develop and enhance their events,” he said. “Volunteering is a critical indicator of community strength as are sporting and cultural events. If elected I look forwarded to working with the government of the day to develop a significant regional community events funding program.”
Mr Neoh has said he would deliver his preferences, which will be critical in South West Coast, to whichever party can deliver funding commitments to his election priorities. They include the Warrnambool Special Developmental School, the Warrnambool Base Hospital stage two upgrade and Princes Highway West.