Steph Cooke MP, John Horton, Lucy Targett and Brent Randall.
Steph Cooke MP, John Horton, Lucy Targett and Brent Randall.

Harden-Murrumburrah will receive a welcome boost to tourism with the Harden Kite Festival sharing in the NSW Government’s $1 million 2020 Regional Event Fund.

The NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, will provide funding to 59 event organisers across the state to deliver events that will attract visitors and drive economic activity for local businesses.

The Festival has been awarded a $10,000 grant to assist in its delivery from the Micro Event stream of the fund.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the support for these events would be critical to reawakening the local tourism industry following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am so pleased to be able to announce this funding for the Harden Kite Festival, which is a wonderful drawcard for the region,” Ms Cooke said.

“The Festival brings so many visitors to Harden-Murrumburrah, giving a boost to accommodation providers, eateries and retailers, and after a challenging year this grant is a great way to ensure it comes back bigger and better than ever.”

Harden Kite Festival Committee Chair Lucy Targett said the funding was a boost for the entire community.

“It’s wonderful to be able to give back to our community which has suffered through drought over the past few years and to bring people together, this money is going to be greatly appreciated,” Ms Targett said.

“We’re going to be ensuring we are giving back to the community so that may be using local businesses to help with the event’s marketing and looking for ideas on how we can create extra activities for kids and how to be COVID-safe.”

“We can’t wait to try and see everyone next year, it might be a little different but we look forward to making a safe, family friendly and affordable event.”

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said it was clear that regional NSW is eager to welcome visitors back to drive spending in communities that rely on the visitor economy to support local businesses.

“The calibre and diversity of events supported through the Regional Event Fund will give visitors plenty of extra motivation to get out and explore regional NSW,” Minister Ayres said.

“Regional NSW is eagerly welcoming visitors back to drive spending in communities that rely on the visitor economy to support local businesses.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said COVID-19 restrictions led to the postponement of many regional NSW events, but event owners had shown determination to bounce back.

“Local businesses in regional communities are preparing for a much needed economic boost after enduring drought, bushfires and more recently COVID-19,” said Mr Barilaro.

“This funding will bring regional events back to life, which will not only put money in the pockets of event vendors but will be a huge morale boost for our communities at such a crucial time.

“These events create local jobs and bring regional communities together, and so we look forward to a full calendar of COVID-Safe events across the state later in 2020 and into next year.”

The Regional Event Fund is part of the NSW Government’s $10 million Tourism Recovery package and comprises two streams: the Flagship Event Fund and a new Micro Event Fund.

The Regional Event Fund will support:

  • 18 events through $20,000 annual Flagship Event Fund grants
  • 12 events through $30,000 cash and in-kind triennial Flagship Event Fund grants
  • 29 events through $10,000 Micro Event Fund grants

Events scheduled between 1 May and 31 December 2020 at the time of application were eligible for funding. In line with current Australian Government restrictions regarding mass gatherings, Destination NSW will liaise with event owners to discuss their plans. Events must be delivered to receive funding.