Event’s economic benefit is important
Tocumwal Chamber of Commerce and Tourism president Sergio Redegalli says disallowing the Strawberry Fields Festival in Tocumwal this year may have derailed an important event for the community.
Mr Redegalli, who attended an extraordinary council meeting to discuss the event’s development application status last week, said he was ‘‘frustrated’’ at efforts to ‘‘disrupt’’ the festival.
‘‘I’m angry that one individual who doesn’t even live in Tocumwal — who only has a farm near the site — can cause such stress to the community,’’ Mr Redegalli said.
‘‘He keeps on saying he’s got people who are against it (the festival), but I haven’t heard of anyone else.
‘‘The opposition could stop Tocumwal becoming a music hub. We have other plans as a community for music festivals at the golf course and so forth.
‘‘We should be saying ‘let’s do it, let’s make it work’.’’
According to an economic benefit study commissioned by the event’s organisers, Strawberry Fields festival draws around 6000 people to the Tocumwal area and brings in $1.2 million to the Berrigan Shire.
Mr Redegalli said the festival has the potential to create a ‘‘knock on effect’’ in the future, for both the town and Berrigan Shire.
‘‘Our shire would never be able to afford the money to pay Google to receive the search hits that Tocumwal gets from Strawberry Fields; it helps us get recognised online,’’ he said.