Play on the Plains chair Harold Clapham says the resignation of NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher should not alter the chances of the Muster's bid for hallmark status.ZOE MCMAUGH May 9, 2014 11:20am
The NSW cabinet shake-up has come at an inopportune time for the Deniliquin Ute Muster but should not have any bearing on its quest for hallmark status, according to Play on the Plains chair Harold Clapham.
Less than a fortnight after Mike Baird replaced Barry O’Farrell as NSW Premier, NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher announced his resignation from cabinet on Friday.
Like Mr O’Farrell, Mr Gallacher reportedly resigned after he was implicated in an Independent Commission Against Corruption hearing on ‘illegal donations’.
His portfolios have been taken on by Stuart Ayers.
During a visit to Deniliquin in 2006, Mr Gallacher promised the community free policing of the Ute Muster would be at the top of his priorities if the Coalition was elected.
While not tasked with deciding who gets hallmark status, and the state-paid police services that flow from it, Mr Clapham said Mr Gallacher supported the event’s attempts.
‘‘I don’t think (Michael Gallacher’s resignation) has any bearing as applications for hallmark status go to the Premier.
‘‘I would hope that the process is judged on merit rather than who is minister, and whether they have any ministerial experience.
‘‘My gut feeling is that the support of our local members, Federal and NSW, is more important than who is minister.’’
The Deniliquin Play on the Plains Festival Inc has submitted a 2014 application for hallmark status, with eligibility to be decided by the NSW Premier.
The last application for the event was submitted in 2012, and rejected.
The NSW Government currently pays for half of the event’s policing costs.
At the 2012 event, the Ute Muster’s share of the police bill was $90,000. Organisers will not reveal the increase since then for commercial reasons.
The Ute Muster attracts an average of 15,000 people to Deniliquin each NSW Labour Day long weekend.
Criteria for hallmark status includes enhancing awareness and appeal and profitability of a destination at a particular time and an event with an international and/or national audience and provides significant economic and social benefits.
Great time had at this year's Barmah Muster.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The second annual Bonnie and Clyde Rods, Rats and Rides Festival fired up at Tatura Park at the weekend (April 11-12), drawing thousands of petrol heads and rockabilly music lovers to Tatura.
Friday’s annual primary inter-school cross country meet will see a broader variety of students taking part, as well as the introduction of a new finish line.
Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Deniliquin bowler Dennis O'Keefe lost 25-19 in his bid for a quarter-final spot in the Victorian Singles Championships this week.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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