Raising rates to pay for an iconic Dubbo festival has been met with a negative response from the community.
The suggestion of a rate rise of one per cent to cover the costs of organising and administrating a Dubbo festival was made by Dubbo resident Wally Flynn at a public meeting on January 28.
It follows a month-long debate about whether Dubbo needs to build up an iconic festival that could compare to the Parkes Elvis Festival which NSW tourism minister Jodi McKay predicted would generate more than $5 million for the local economy this year.
Most people asked by the Daily Liberal yesterday were against having to pay for such a festival with a rate rise.
“No, it’s a waste of money,” Charleen McAllister said.
“I’m not interested in a festival.”
The view by many was that they already pay enough in rates and they should not have to pay extra to fund a festival.
“No, I don’t want a rate rise. I pay enough already,” Leanne Hangans said.
This sentiment was echoed by Bevan Williams.
“We pay enough now. Prices are always going up,” he said.
There was some positive feedback on the idea with some people in favour of the attraction a festival in Dubbo would have.
“I’ve been in Dubbo all my life, it would be good to have something to go to once a year,” Neil Alderman said.
There was also a positive response to the benefits that a festival could have for Dubbo.
“It doesn’t worry me,” said Allana Kirkman. “It would be good for the town.”
The lack of a firm idea for the festival had some people feeling unsure.
There was a reluctance to commit to a rate rise when there was no definite plan for what the festival would involve.
“It doesn’t seem very organised,” said Kirra Bogan. “I would have to know what the festival was, that it was organised, before I would pay.”
Mr Flynn last week acknowledged there would be “strong
opposition” to a rate increase.
Despite this he thought it was worth the hike.
“Once it was decided what it was and they show they can make a go of it, I’d put my money up without a doubt,” he said.
A number of suggestions for festival ideas were made at the public meeting.
These included a lonely-hearts weekend, song, dance and paddles and a film festival along the Macquarie, a multicultural festival, zoo-city and animals or a celebration of country life.