My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Community Development in the other
place, Peter Batchelor. It relates to assisting regional and rural communities
in planning for local events. Farmers markets specialising in local produce and
craft, music festivals, heritage weekends and events such as the recent Booktown
in Clunes attract an enormous number of visitors to small towns. Such events
highlight the unique attractions in these areas and also provide a much-needed
financial injection into the local communities. Of course they also build
Very large numbers of visitors — for example, something of the
order of 10 000 to 20 000 people over a weekend — descend on townships of 2000
to 3000 people. This puts an enormous pressure on local infrastructure,
electricity supplies, sewerage, accommodation and parking.
Nothing could be worse for a local organising committee than
attracting a huge crowd of people for a great line-up of performers or writers
and no-one being able to hear them or to get a cooked meal due to unprecedented
demand on electricity supplies.
Organisers of many longstanding events, such as the Port Fairy
music festivals, have built up an enormous wealth of experience in organising in
their local areas. We want people to visit regional Victoria and to have
different experiences. We also want people to visit regional areas again and
again and hopefully stay longer, so it is very important that through forward
planning we do whatever is possible to alleviate pressures on infrastructure.
Therefore my request is for the minister to collect and collate
information from areas in regional Victoria that have undertaken festivals and
events so that this information can be shared with other communities which are
organising or planning an event and they can forward plan and at the same time
heighten local capacity building.