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Wallan Winter None-derland: Event plans fall through

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Max Davies
Max Davies
Max is a journalist for the North Central Review. He joined the paper as a cadet journalist in 2021 and graduated from La Trobe University in 2023. He takes a keen interest in motorsport and the automotive industry.

The Wallan community were left scratching their heads when Wallan’s Winter Wonderland failed to materialise despite a funding announcement from Member for Kalkallo Ros Spence.

Ms Spence announced in a media release on June 22 that ‘Wallan Winter Wonderland’ would benefit from funding as part of the State Government’s Small and Medium Events Program.

“Wallan Winter Wonderland will also be benefiting from this program with $25,000 in funding to deliver their event on July 15, to celebrate all things winter, with food trucks, bespoke breweries, warming fire pits, market stalls, live music, and a whole lot more,” the release stated.

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However, event organisers BGGROUPAU told the Review they had notified the department on June 13 that the event was now cancelled – more than a week prior to Ms Spence’s announcement.

Believing the event was to go ahead on July 15, many people took to social media to express their confusion about the event.

Ms Spence confirmed that event organisers had notified the Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions the event would not be proceeding the week prior to her statement being released.

“Wallan Winter Wonderland was approved for Small and Medium Events Program funding of $25,000. The event was scheduled for July 15,” she said.

“The grant applicant and organiser of the event notified the department on June 13 that the event would not be proceeding.

“As such, the funding agreement was never signed, and no funding was issued.”

A Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions spokesperson said the Wallan Winterland Festival was approved to receive a grant under the program but no funding was provided.

“We apologise for the administrative error that saw the information incorrectly issued,” they said.

A Mitchell Shire Council spokesperson said council had provided support to BGGROUPAU in the preparation stages.

“Mitchell Shire Council works with many event organisers as part of our event concierge service to ensure that event organisers have appropriate permits and event plans in place,” the spokesperson said.

“In this instance, in February we also provided a letter of support to the event organisers for a grant application and offered in-kind support, should the event go ahead.”

The Hume Diwali Mela event, also promised funding through the Small and Medium Events Program, is set to go ahead on November 4. .

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