Street fes­ti­val plans for Mor­ley and Bayswa­ter

Eastern Reporter - - Front Page - Kristie Lim

TWO com­mu­nity groups are plan­ning to bring street fes­ti­vals to Mor­ley and Bayswa­ter for the first time in more than a decade in a bid to liven the town cen­tres.

Baysie Rollers and The Mor­ley Mo­men­tum ap­plied for $20,000 and $15,000 in fund­ing as part of the City of Bayswa­ter’s ma­jor town cen­tre events fund­ing.

Baysie Rollers are propos­ing to host the Bayswa­ter Street and Arts Fes­ti­val, with plans for Indige­nous ac­tiv­i­ties, song­mak­ing work­shops with school choirs, juke­boxes, a mu­si­cal event and his­tor­i­cal dance.

The Mor­ley Mo­men­tum, formed in March, is plan­ning a Laneway Fi­esta fes­ti­val in Progress Street, which will fea­ture food trucks, stalls from sur­round­ing food busi­nesses, en­ter­tain­ment and ad­di­tional in­fra­struc­ture.

At the Novem­ber 13 com­mit­tee meet­ing, Bayswa­ter Coun­cil unan­i­mously sup­ported Coun­cil­lor Cather­ine Ehrhardt’s mo­tion to de­fer its fi­nal de­ci­sion un­til the Novem­ber 27 coun­cil meet­ing, pend­ing in­for­ma­tion on where ex­tra fund­ing could be pro­vided to the groups.

Of­fi­cers had rec­om­mended ap­prov­ing $10,000 for The Mor­ley Mo­men­tum and $13,500 for Baysie Rollers.

Cr Ehrhardt said she wanted to see some­thing hap­pen­ing in the two sub­urbs.

“I think they are both de­serv­ing and I think we need to look at re­ally sup­port­ing two great com­mu­nity groups and two cen­tres that des­per­ately need a ma­jor event,” she said.

Act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Des Abel said if the coun­cil re­solved to spend above the avail­able bud­get amount of $23,500, there would need to be a bud­get re­al­lo­ca­tion by coun­cil.

Baysie Rollers chair­man David Lee said if the City re­duced fund­ing for the fes­ti­val, it could have a flowon ef­fect to Lot­tery­west fund­ing less than its an­tic­i­pated $20,000 com­mit­ment.

“Hav­ing a fes­ti­val in the town cen­tre has eco­nom­i­cal ben­e­fits for lo­cal busi­nesses and builds the per­cep­tion that Bayswa­ter is a place to at­tract fur­ther busi­ness over time,” he said.

“We be­lieve the fes­ti­val will also be a cat­a­lyst, the be­gin­ning of an on­go­ing town cen­tre ac­ti­va­tion pro­ject that can al­le­vi­ate some of the im­pact cre­ated dur­ing that pro­longed Metronet con­struc­tion pe­riod.”

He said the group was ap­ply­ing for grants from the De­part­ment of Com­mu­ni­ties, Health­way and Bendigo Bank.

Mor­ley Mo­men­tum pres­i­dent Suzana Russo said the group wanted to at­tract be­tween 2000 and 10,000 peo­ple from cul­tur­ally di­verse back­grounds to gather around carparks and laneways in Mor­ley.

“We are be­ing cospon­sored by Bendigo Bank, which has pro­vided us with $5000 to­wards the event,” she said.

“With a $20,000 bud­get, we will be able to af­ford stag­ing, power, light­ing, food and drink, ven­dors, en­ter­tain­ment, fur­ni­ture, sig­nage, se­cu­rity, man­age­ment and so on.

“Street fes­ti­vals are ben­e­fi­cial for all and it is time for Mor­ley to have its own.”

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