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It needs more than funds to create a community event

With flagging volunteerism and a weariness of those left in the community who do the "heavy lifting" it is understandable that there is a reluctance by many groups and organisations to dream up new "community events" The very thought of the organisation behind non-profit markets and bazaars, festivals and fairs, sporting events, food and leisure events, recovery events, community classes and workshops, regional racing carnivals, touring events and theatre programs and public holiday celebrations, such as for Australia Day or Anzac Day leaves most weary after simply reading the list. In days of old when our community was new there was a passion for progress. With that came a willingness to play a part in the warp and weft of the community and to volunteer that passion and the considerable time involved to the cause. For one reason or another that passion has flagged with the remnants mainly represented in our community groups by an aging population, concerned that when they "go" the group they have nurtured will disappear as well. There may however be dreamers and idealists who are prepared to step up and commit to creating a new event. A fun event, an family inclusive event, an affordable event. But that will require a major commitment that few are prepared to make given the paper work, the insurances, the bureaucracy and the hurdles that need to be overcome before a single sod is turned on the idea. It was possibly these hurdles that saw the demise of the events we once had. These days there are so many rules. A local market has to take out $20 million public liability insurance, ensure sellers of cakes and chutneys are accredited with food handling certificates and ensure there is a risk assessment analysis and traffic plan prepared. So much work, so much detail, so many hurdles ... and in the end the passion is quashed as the idea becomes hard work, with few volunteers to help and it is left to the same old faces who remain to bring it all together.

Eurobodalla Council is calling for proposals from businesses and organisations for events or festivals it can host in partnership with the community.

They advise that the Council has received funding from the Department of Regional NSW under its Reconnecting Regional NSW Community Events Program, intended to encourage councils to work with their communities on priority events.

They say "The funded events should bring people together, benefit the entire Eurobodalla community, be free or cheap to attend, and not be already funded by the NSW Government".

That is all very nice, to have money to hand out to prospective ideas but the sad fact is that the hurdles remain and the overall enthusiasm of volunteerism in a once cohesive community has diminished as we have outgrown ourselves which means that only the die-hard dare to dream but are all too weary to pursue. If you have got an idea then applications for the funding can be made through Council’s Smarty Grants portal before Sunday 15 May 2022.

For more information or to apply head to

Above: The very successful Granite Town Festival was one of the hallmark events for Moruya that was brought undone by needless Council intervention, excess fees and a reluctance to budge causing the event to relocate away from the town centre that brought food stalls, river lights, music in the streets and net benefit to local business. The hurdles mounted and in the end the event lost its passion, primarily due to the unwillingness of Council to listen and to recognise their role in the event's failure.