A TOTAL of $74,000 will be allocated in the 2012/13 financial year to local icon events, including the Anaconda Adventure Race, Cinefest Oz, the Creative Festival and the Drug Aware Pro surf competition.
The Augusta-Margaret River Shire Council voted last week to allocate the funds, with Cr John Bell saying it would be “money well spent”.
Cr Mike Smart spoke of the positive impact the Anaconda race had on Augusta, saying he believed “a lot of people have found Augusta who didn’t know it was there before”.
The council received funding requests of $106,500 for the 2012/13 financial year, with $15,000 of the 2012/13 Icon Events budget already committed by council to host the Australian Pro Tour tennis event.
Council will also be asked to consider fee waivers for 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15.
The staff report to council noted that Augusta-Margaret River has experienced a decline in tourism activity in line with state and national trends, and said tourism events helped to improve this situation.
Figures by the Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association indicated a drop of 8.5 per cent visitation from 2010 to 2011, with the beginning of 2012 similar.
This was attributed to factors including the global financial crisis, increased cost of living in Australia, the increased international value of the $AUD, and negative issues of coal mining, shark attacks and bushfires.