Fests face council cuts

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Dancing queens and kings: Crowd enjoys the Mordialloc Food, Wine and Music Festival. Picture: Gary Sissons

RISING recycling costs may mean the party’s over at some festivals hosted by Kingston Council.

Councillors voted in May to pass a $25 rise in recycling fees to each Kingston household as China’s ban on nearly all recycling materials previously exported from Australia begins to bite.

At the time council said a further $6 rise per household would be absorbed in council’s budget but $400,000 in annual savings would need to be found elsewhere.

It has now emerged that festivals may take a financial hit to save money.

“In order to save $400,000, council will be making changes to our annual festivals program,” Kingston mayor Cr Steve Staikos said.

“We’ll still be presenting our signature events — the Mordialloc Food, Wine and Music Festival, Carols by Kingston and our Australia Day breakfast for the community to enjoy and making these events even bigger and better.

“However our less attended events in Carrum and Clayton will not proceed this year and we will also make savings by combining a number of smaller-scale events.”

The Carols by Kingston event will be held at Bicentennial Park in Chelsea this year as part of the changes to the festival bills.

“Our annual carols event is much-loved and I’m sure South Ward residents will embrace the event in their neighbourhood this year,” Cr Staikos said.

The amended festivals program will be trialled over the next 12 months and then reviewed for future years.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 1 August 2018

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