Lithgow Council has committed to work with the organisers of Ironfest to see a return of this popular event in the future.
The Council resolved at its November 2022 meeting to continue to collaborate with Ironfest following a late request for sponsorship.
Like all events, Ironfest has been impacted by Covid lockdowns and restrictions. It was uncertain if the event would survive these disruptions but, notwithstanding, in October 2021, the Council undertook to meet with the organisers to assist to try to develop another event.
Council’s General Manager, Craig Butler said, “Lithgow Council has financially supported prior Ironfest events – $15 000 for their 2019 event. Council staff met with Ironfest organisers in February 2022 and offered to again assist them to hold the event. But no firm proposal came forward.”
Mr Butler added, “The Council calls for submissions to its annual plan and budget in April each year. Ironfest did not make a submission for consideration in the 2022/23 budget.”
“Much later, in October 2022, a submission was received. The request from Ironfest was for $92,000 to run the event in April 2023. However, the request contained largely unsubstantiated information regarding the financial and risk management for the event and lacked details about the proposed expenditure.”
Mr Butler said, “All funding had been allocated well before Ironfest’s request was received. Council does not have discretionary funds. Funding the event now would mean cutting other approved projects in this year’s budget.”
Mr Butler concluded by saying “This Council sees the value of events, and we work closely with proponents, but we quite reasonably expect requests for funding to have real clarity about where the money, which is public money, will be used. On this occasion, we did not receive that confidence”.
“We will continue to endeavour to assist the Ironfest committee to host a successful event in the future. I am confident that, working together, we can see a return of Ironfest.”