News

Easterfest to get a slice of $49m pie

Michael W Smith
Michael W Smith

UPDATE: A FINANCIAL boon for Easterfest organisers is set to push the popular festival to the next level and bring the wider Toowoomba tourism market with it.

The annual festival has been added as the first major Toowoomba event to the Events Queensland calendar.

It will now share in $49.6 million in State Government funding for major, regional and business events through Events Queensland in 2012-13.

The funding however does come with provisions.

Easterfest director Dave Schenk said key performance indicators would determine whether the festival would continue to receive the funding in the future.

"This is a significant amount of money which will be available to us over the next three years," he said.

"But a large percentage (of the money) is linked to annual KPIs which will be reassessed every three years."

Dave Schenk, Easterfest director talks about the growth of the festival.
Dave Schenk, Easterfest director talks about the growth of the festival. Bev Lacey

 

Mr Schenk said pressure was placed on festival organisers to ensure the funding would work to benefit the larger tourism region.

"We'll be partnering with other tourism organisations and activities to try to attract people from outside Toowoomba, aiming to get people spending longer amounts of time in the region around Easterfest," he said.

"I would be lying if I didn't say the task was a bit daunting, but we have a great team of people here and our goal is to exceed expectations.

The festival is still receiving some funding from Toowoomba Regional Council, but whether that continues or not will have to be reviewed.

Deputy Mayor and chair of the Finance and Business Strategy Committee Cr Mike Williams said events such as Easterfest would need to "justify their funding" if they were to continue receiving council funding support.

"Council isn't in the business of writing cheques to prop up events which don't contribute back to the community which Easterfest clearly does," he said.

"They do need to be held accountable for their revenue stream and that's something I will be pushing to be considered when council reviews its funding."

 

Key performance indicators

  • New and expanded talent and entertainment programs to encourage longer stays and attract new markets
  • Business plans to support event growth, travel packages and interstate marketing
  • Updated software and ticketing systems
  • Temporary infrastructure for increased attendees

 

EARLIER: EASTERFEST will receive a huge financial boost after becoming the first major event for Toowoomba and the Darling Downs to be listed by Events Queensland.

Tourism and Major Events Minister Jann Stuckey said in a media release that extra funding would be provided by Events Queensland towards a range of initiatives designed to enhance numbers and drive visitation in a sustainable, long-term way.

Initiatives include new and expanded talent and entertainment programs to encourage longer stays and attract new markets, business plans to support event growth, travel packages and interstate marketing, updated software and ticketing systems and temporary infrastructure for increased attendees.

This is a tremendous vote of confidence not just in Easterfest, but also in the overall tourism potential of the Toowoomba region. 

Other events included in the announcement were the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, the Birdsville Races and the Blues on Broadbeach festival.

These events will now share in $49.6 million in major, regional and business events through Events Queensland in 2012-13.

 

Minister for Tourism Jann Stuckey
Minister for Tourism Jann Stuckey Greg Miller

"These events which were previously supported through the Events Queensland Regional Development Program, have seen significant growth and will now fall under the Major Events portfolio," Ms Stuckey said.

 

"Events Queensland has evaluated the tourism benefits they provide and their ability to expand and deliver significant economic benefits."

Easterfest director Dave Schenk said he was excited that Events Queensland had recognised the festival just 15 years after its inception in Toowoomba.

"This is a tremendous vote of confidence not just in Easterfest, but also in the overall tourism potential of the Toowoomba region," he said.

"Our focus is to ensure that the State Government funding will take tourism in Toowoomba to a new level over the Easter weekend."

Topics:  easter, events queensland, toowoomba




More Telstra outages for the Southern Downs this week

The Telstra website shows Warwick's home phones, ADSL and NBN customers will be...

Is this the start of our Rural Renaissance?

Exports to the US have dropped 40%, China 30% and Japan 10%. China and Saudi Arabia have once more open their doors to Brazilian beef while Indonesia is now looking to Indian buffalo meat to boost its supplies

Rising prices the talk of the town as rain raises farmers’ spirits

Latest deals and offers

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa