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Events Levy Update

Over the last few days there has been plenty of discussions around Tamworth Regional Councils proposed events levy and questions around why the Tamworth Business Chamber is supportive of this.

The Chamber will always be supportive of growing our local economy and ensuring strong revenue streams from all different forms including the attraction of new events to the region.

Today an information breakfast was held for businesses to hear firsthand about the proposal and what this will mean for the continued growth of the region, I’m very pleased to say that the sentiment in the room following the information being delivered was very positive and supportive of the proposed Events Levy.

For those that couldn’t make this event I would like to share with you some back-ground information but also ensure you understand the Chambers position on the levy.

At this stage this is a proposed special rate variation (SRV) to attract NEW events to the city, not to subsidise existing events, there has been much talk around the Country Music Festival and this proposed levy has nothing to do with the Country Music Festival. The SRV requires support of the business community and still needs to be approved by IPART following the consolation period which ends on the 21st of December 2018.

The Tamworth Business Chamber is supportive of this proposal but has made it clear that our support is on the following basis;

1. The money raised is only spent on new event attraction, with events brining        overnight visitation to the area not local based events that will not generate new income for the region.

2.The event fund is not used on wages, council already has an events team and a marketing team so we want to ensure that this money is used solely for the attraction of new events.

3. An independent committee be formed to advise which events to support, we are suggesting this committee is made up of a representative from the following areas, The Tamworth Business Chamber, a representative from sport and recreation, entertainment and arts and community representation.

4. Any surplus funds are retained for future event attraction.

The SRV if approved will be applied to commercial council rates only and be introduced over a 3-year period. This increase is proposed as 3% year 1, 6.2% year 2 & 9.7% year 3. The levy is aimed at raising a total of $600,000. The average rate increase is $101 per year.

Every business will indirectly benefit from a strong tourism and events destination as it delivers strong economic growth. I believe we have an intelligent and visionary business community that know strong economic growth benefits all businesses. If you grow your city you grow your business.

$600,000 is certainly a large number however its small when compared to some regions like Coffs Harbour that has a fund of $1mil set aside to attract new events every year. Figures from Destination NSW show that for every $1 spent you should see a return of $100, its envisaged that this fund would attract $60mil a year in new events to the region which will create new jobs and provide economic growth. I believe commercial owners of premises and business owners who may have to pay the $101 per year (on average) rate increase will see this as a small investment to build a stronger economy.

I hope that businesses will attend the many co-hosted free events around the region designed to provide you with the background information as to why the SRV is being proposed and to give you the opportunity to contribute to the discussion directly.
These information sessions are free and being co-hosted by Tamworth Regional Council and the Tamworth Business Chamber.

The Chamber team has information handouts on the proposed SRV and you can follow the conversation and find out when the information sessions are on at yourvoice.tamworth.nsw.gov.au

Please join the conversation and be informed with the right information.

Yours in Business

Jye Segboer
Tamworth Business Chamber

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