MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (09:45:35): The Queen’s Birthday weekend saw the small Bellarine village of Portarlington transformed as the National Celtic Festival hit town.
This festival attracts not only international and interstate performers but thousands of visitors.
It is a festival that relies on the work of its leader, Una McAlinden, a very efficient committee of organisers and many volunteers drawn from Portarlington, the wider Bellarine and beyond.
It gives back to the town not just through great entertainment but by bringing business to local restaurants, wineries and accommodation in midwinter and giving volunteers free passes, helping to make the Bellarine a tourist drawcard.
Across my electorate there are numerous festivals which the Andrews Labor government is proud to support. Love Winter in Aireys from June to August and Queenscliff’s Low Light in May and June both offer international and local arts, culinary fare and gourmet dining, music, film, spoken word and literature.
These festivals, all involving community volunteers, follow on from the highly successful Port Fairy Folk Festival and the Koroit Irish Festival.