Few answers on Vanfest

When Forbes Shire Council announced in July it was leasing major music event, Vanfest, The Advocate asked a number of further questions about the arrangements.

Following feedback on our Facebook page, we sought to clarify for readers that Cr Grant Clifton was not part of the discussions about the lease.

How long is the lease arrangement for?

Was the decision made by Council and if yes, did Cr Clifton announce a declaration of interest and leave the meeting last Thursday.

The wording of the motion.

What is the lease arrangement – ie. What is Council receiving under the arrangement?

We asked, can Council release the amount ratepayers are paying to lease the festival? 

If not, what are the constraints on that information?

Council’s response follows:

Forbes Shire Council is pleased to be able to support local events that provide social, wellbeing or economic benefit to the community.

Council supports a number of community-run events including the River Arts Festival, Grazing Down the Lachlan, Boscars, Forbes Triathlon, Sculpture Forbes, Teddy Bears Picnic, Carols by Candlelight and many more.

Council has resolved to lease VANFEST for the next 3 years and is pleased that Matt Clifton will continue to provide the professional, experienced management of such a boutique event. Council aims to make this event and the community benefits bigger and better.

VANFEST has been proven to bring many thousands of visitors to Forbes and it is obvious that this is an opportunity for our business and accommodation sectors. Council’s more direct involvement will enable us to better optimise the economic return.

Council’s direct involvement will also strengthen applications for grant funding from Destination NSW to further develop the event.

As per Council’s Code of Conduct Policy, which mirrors that of the State Government model, Councillors must declare a conflict of interest.  

Councillor Grant Clifton has been, and will continue to be, precluded from participating in discussion or decision making in regards to Council’s involvement with VANFEST.