Shire searches for event saviour

Shire searches for event saviour

The food and wine festival, a major highlight of the Perth Hills calendar for the past six years, was axed last month when negotiations broke down between the Shire and its main sponsor, Eventscorp ” an arm of Tourism WA.

It is estimated the event poured more than $1.7 million in tourist dollars into the region last year.

Mundaring chief executive Jonathan Throssell said the council was looking at all viable options to keep the festival alive.

‘We will continue to investigate options available for the Mundaring Truffle Festival to be held in 2014 and onwards,’ Mr Throssell said.

He also confirmed the Shire was also looking to host another major event.

‘It is too late to consider another major event for this year. However if the Mundaring Truffle Festival is unable to continue we will look at opportunities for another significant event to showcase Mundaring,’ he said.

But he said any new event would be held only if the Shire was not left open to ‘unreasonable financial risks’.

The Shire cancelled the festival because it said a new clause in the contract with Eventscorp had exposed it to potentially excessive legal liability.

Mr Throssell said the clause would have made the Shire responsible for things over which it had no control or responsibility.

Eventscorp executive director Gwyn Dolphin said the agency had offered the Shire an extra 75 per cent in funding to cover extra insurance and management costs.

He said the clause was now a part of a standard contract for major events in WA it sponsors, after |the parliamentary inquiry into the ill-fated 2011 Kimberley Ultra-marathon fire.