Funding for the Dream Festival, or the lack thereof, has prompted a flood of submissions on Dubbo City Council’s draft budget.
During the 2015/16 Draft Operational Plan and Budget public exhibition period 79 submissions were made, 70 of which were in regards to the Dream Festival.
All but one submission were in support of council maintaining funding beyond 2015/16.
In her submission, Dubbo Ratepayers and Residents Association president Merrilyn Mulchay said while the Ratepayers Association supports the organisers of the Dream Festival, they did not think council should continue its funding.
“We can not find reason for council to justify spending $40,000 on the festival each and every year,” Ms Mulchay said in the submission.
“There are plenty of other worthy community based organisations that do not secure once cent of rate payers funds.
“We also can not understand why council pointedly supports an organisation that is clearly skewed to the big end of town.
“If council were to support an event, surely support such an event that incorporates all of its citizens as opposed to an elite few.”
Primary teachers, exchange students, festival volunteers, Sydney residents who travel to Dubbo every year for the festival, medical students considering working in Dubbo, and many concerned residents have all written submissions.
Twelve-year-old Kate Fuller was full of praise for the festival.
She said she couldn’t believe council didn’t consider the festival important enough to continue funding.
“I really look forward to the Dream Festival every year because there isn’t much for kids my age to go to in Dubbo,” she said in her submission.
“My mum and dad always take our family to the Dream events because it’s heaps of fun and doesn’t cost a fortune.”
Angie White from Western Studio of Performing Arts said the funding should be continued to help keep dreams alive.
“I bring my students to Dubbo each year and they are thrilled to be able to take part in the dance components particularly given that we live so far away,” she said.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for these kids to gain exposure to amazing dancers, to take part in a big performance and to meet like minded kids in a safe and open setting for all.”
Director community services David Dwyer said due to the level of community interest in the festival it was recommended council determine its position. Others included concerns about water charges, the establishment of an ice skating rink and combining a caravan and camping show with the Dubbo Show.
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