MidCoast Council will not hold alternate events to replace the cancelled 2020 New Year's Eve celebrations at Taree and Tuncurry, citing additional costs associated with hosting COVID safe alternate events, no event income and reduced volunteer participation.
This was determined at the March 24 ordinary council meeting.
The decision was unanimously supported by present councillors. Cr David Keegan was absent from the meeting.
Due to the COVID-19 public health order of the time, council cancelled both New Year's Eve events with the hope of hosting community events instead in 2021.
Council staff then investigated alternative formats, dates and locations that would meet the public health order requirements and spoke with Manning Great Lakes Police District and Hunter New England Health to certify the requirements.
For the events to proceed a controlled event area, social distancing of at least two square metres per person, a COVID-19 safety plan, COVID marshals and security, QR code check ins, capped attendees and capped event length would be required.
In February, council was briefed about the potential to hold events at Nabiac and Wingham over the June long weekend.
Show committees and potential event partners were then approached to gain support for the events.
With show committee volunteer numbers impacted by COVID-19 health concerns and commercial event organisers hampered by restrictions on participant numbers and operating times, it was difficult for council to form partnerships.
Without this input, council would have been left with a cost above the available budget, which is between $65,000 and $70,000.