Corangamite Shire is defending its contribution to community arts and festivals after adopted its 2019-20 budget.
The budget has set aside $50,000 for community grants funding, and $60,000 for events and festival funding.
But with the beloved Terang Country Music Festival folding, community event organisers are worried their events could go down the same path.
In past budgets, the council allocated specific funding for events, including for the region's unique Robert Burns Festival, the Cobden Spring Festival and Rock the Clock.
Later budgets have omitted specific groups, meaning all events organisers have to vie for the same funding pool.
Rock the Clock organiser Glen Bernoth said organising events was becoming harder for communities, and questioned what Corangamite's events calendar would look like in three to five years' time.
"All community groups now find themselves in a position where all of the burden and most of the risk sits with themselves," he said.
"With significantly reduced council resources to access, running community events is unfortunately getting harder and more frustrating.
"Their future is less secure than when we had resources and administrative expertise to tap into at the council.
"I think what we need is for our volunteers to be working on the music, dance, markets and the great things that make our event. What we struggle to come to terms with is doing traffic management plans, emergency management and compliance.
"Last year we had to install concrete bollards on footpaths just in case a crazed motorist decided to mow down festival-goers on the footpath. We had to source big concrete blocks and get them transported to Camperdown. A volunteer had to use his forklift to put them in place for the council to inspect.
"If you ask me, the ideal model might be that council reconsider deploying some of their resources to help community groups with administrative burdens while volunteers get on with what they're good at, which is organising entertainment and adding to the social fabric of the town."
Mr Bernoth stressed that while there were some staff members at the shire that were a "fantastic" help, the council had taken a significant step back from its involvement in community festivals and events.
"There is financial support from the council in the form of grants, and we couldn't do what we do without their support," he said.
"That support in terms of cash and in-kind is less than a fifth of our event budget, the other four-fifths is still a massive burden and a risk on community members.
"You're only one terrible weekend of weather away from that being your last event, and there's very limited buffer and certainly no significant profit as it all goes back into the festival.
"There used to be an arts and cultural calendar of events and things being organised from the inside out, now the only things being delivered for our community are being organised from the outside in.
"It's a different world and I'm not entirely sure that it's a sustainable model. I worry what our local calendar of events might look like in two, three or four years time if we all decide it's just too hard."
The shire facilitated the Robert Burns Scottish Festival until last year, handing it over to the community.
"Council facilitated it until last year, they officially relinquished their role in September, it just wasn't part of their core business anymore," event secretary Chris Maguire said.
"Funding has been less over the years but they have given us a lot of support in other areas.
"We've already put a submission in for next year's funding. It's a bit of a concern because there is a limited pool of money and of course they have to limit their funds.
"We also seek partnerships with other businesses and long-term sponsorship but because a town like Camperdown only has a limited number of businesses they have to choose what event suits their business model the best."
He said the council was still the principle sponsor of the Robert Burns festival.
Under the grants criteria it is able to apply for up to $10,000, which includes administrative support and hiring of council facilities.
Chairman Dr John Menzies said it's a "sink or swim" approach.
"The council has a policy of events having to sink or swim on their own merits," he said.
"Unless you keep reinventing yourself these things often go into a decline. In the end you have to pay your way, it's a bit like Darwin's survival of the fittest.
"It all boils down to the council's direction, if their philosophy is for people to visit their town and hopefully bring benefits to town, one way to help that is in this kind of work."
Corangamite's manager of growth and engagement Rory Neeson said council had increased funding to events and festivals in the shire over the past few years.
"Prior to the creation of the events and festivals funding program in 2017, council only funded a few of the major events in the shire with direct budget lines while offering community grants of up to $1000 for smaller events," he said.
"Now there is a $60,000 funding allocation for major events in the shire and there is still a $50,000 allocation as part of our community grants programs for smaller events to apply to.
"Council still completes administrative tasks such as traffic planning and permits, it is just costed as an in-kind expense as part of the groups grant application and many of our groups feel this is an important part of planning and running a successful event."
He said applications for next year's funding pool "appear to be consistent or higher than previous years".
Mr Neeson also encouraged groups to meet with council staff.
"Often the group is actually unaware of the variety of things council can assist the group with," he said.
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