Council grant denied for Noosa festival
A POPULAR community event has been rejected by Noosa Council after it applied for a funding grant last year.
Noosa Come Together committee applied for event funding under the council's 2018-2019 Community Project Grant to include a street parade in this year's event.
Volunteer Kate Gardiner was frustrated to learn, despite many hours of work and research to meet council's application requirements and having sought advice from the council's grants team, their bid was unsuccessful.
"It's frustrating ... I was advised that council would not expect us to have everything in place so far ahead (and) we were subsequently advised that we were not well enough prepared,” Ms Gardiner said.
"I arranged to meet with one of the grants team to get feedback on why we had failed so miserably.
"I was particularly disappointed to be told that our Noosa Come Together Festival already makes a 'profit'.
"Personally I consider that to be a very unfair attack on our supporters and our community.”
Noosa Come Together is held annually in June and, in conjunction with the Noosa Busking Championships, raises money for locals living with a disability to participate in sport.
Ms Gardiner said it was a shame that despite aligning with council's 20 year Noosa community goal they were unsuccessful.
"What we do is very much about our local community,” she said.
"We have an active and loyal community following. They are engaged and committed to what we do. Many of them have been very vocal about bringing back the street parade as a way to bond service organisations, local business, community groups, disengaged groups and so on.”
Noosa Council handed out $32,500 as part of the community project event grants and busking co-ordinator Tony Oxley said they were the only group on the list with nothing next to their name.
"It's a real shame. We tick all the boxes. We are a disabled-friendly event, we are a community charity event and we support locals living with a disability,” Mr Oxley said.
Community development manager Alison Hamblin said no grant applicant was given any guarantee of funding from round to round.
"Although the Street Parade is a worthy project, there was not sufficient funding in the budget to provide the organisers with the $22,496 they'd requested to deliver the event,” Ms Hamblin said.
"The application also lacked some details in relation to how the organisers intended to manage traffic issues and the impact on nearby residents and businesses.”
Mr Oxley said they were now looking for sponsors to fund the 2019 event and he hoped locals and business would come on board.
"Hundreds of volunteer hours go into this and we rely heavily on sponsors to make it all happen,” he said.