Clash no more
Shire urges chambers to take care with event timing
Berrigan Shire Council has called on shire communities to work with council when organising local events.
The appeal was instigated from Australia Day, where celebrations in Tocumwal clashed with official shire celebrations held in Barooga.
In a report tabled at council’s recent corporate workshop, general manager Rowan Perkins said there had been a number of complaints about the clash from local residents, community groups and councillors.
He said while council supported Tocumwal Chamber of Commerce’s reasons for hosting an event in the town, council would prefer to have co-operation and for organisers to ‘‘leave space for our event’’.
Barooga based councillor John Bruce agreed at council’s recent meeting, saying it was good for tourism to have a number of events on in the shire, but not at the expense of another.
‘‘It’s not the end of the world, but some people expressed their anger to me.
‘‘I don’t think anybody thinks there’s anything wrong with Tocumwal hosting an Australia Day event, in fact I think it’s wonderful as it’s good for tourism, however what I’m frustrated with is why they started at the same time (as the shire celebrations).
‘‘Tocumwal will be the centre of attention for the next two years (as host of the shire celebrations), and that will be great.
‘‘What I’m now concerned about is that it will clash with Finley, that’s why we’ve made this decision to ensure they don’t clash.’’
Tocumwal Chamber of Commerce president Sergio Redegalli explained the clash was not deliberate.
He said a last minute change to the Tocumwal event’s timing was required for the safety of attendees, given extreme heat conditions expected on Australia Day.
‘‘Originally the time was meant to be 10am until 2pm, however a decision was made due to the heat to host it earlier,’’ he said.
‘‘It was never intended as an insult to anyone or the (shire) ceremony and personally, I was disappointed I couldn’t make the official ceremony in Barooga.
‘‘For years other members of Tocumwal Chamber have been asked why doesn’t something happen (in Tocumwal on Australia Day).
‘‘We achieved what we wanted to achieve, and that was attracting kids and tourists to our event.
‘‘Many business owners popped over for half and hour before opening their stores, something they wouldn’t be able to do in previous years.’’
Mr Redegalli said given the success on Australia Day chamber will continue to host a celebration even when it does not host the official shire celebrations.
He said the chamber would make every effort not to clash with other events in the future.
‘‘Like it or not Tocumwal will always have an Australia Day event, but the hours will be worked on,’’ he said.
‘‘If it means next year we have something separate for the kids and tourism then we will.
‘‘Tocumwal Chamber was at the forefront with its nominations this year and we will always continue to support the (shire) ceremony.’’
Council has resolved to write to all shire chamber groups and request their events do not clash with the official Australia Day Awards ceremony.
Berrigan Shire’s official Australia Day ceremony rotates between the shire’s four towns every two years, with Tocumwal scheduled to host in 2019 and 2020. Finley will then host the celebrations in 2021 and 2022.
The only other established event on Australia Day in the shire is the Berrigan Country Women’s Association annual breakfast, which starts at 7am and is usually finished before the shire ceremony begins.