Mayor Don Henderson snubbed for arts program launch in Daylesford

Hepburn Shire mayor  Don Henderson

Hepburn Shire mayor Don Henderson

HEPBURN Shire mayor Don Henderson was snubbed for the launch of a Daylesford arts program on Tuesday, despite the council coughing up $2000 for the event.

Cr Henderson “had no idea” about the program launch and was fleetingly made aware Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louis Asher was in Newham for the day.

One councillor received a personal invitation but the remaining six were all ignored, he said. 

“If someone gives you money and you don’t acknowledge it, then next time you ask they might say no,” Cr Henderson said. 

Cr Henderson said the Daylesford Macedon Ranger Open Studios (DMROS) program received a grant of $2000 from the council, which was used to attract funding from Tourism Victoria. 

A spokesperson for Ms Asher said because the launch wasn’t a council-organised event, there was no obligation to invite councillors. 

“Every time a politician goes to an event it doesn’t necessarily mean councillors or local politicians get invited, especially if they are not involved in the event,” the spokesperson

said. 

Minister Asher pledged $15,000 to the program, matching contributions from the previous two years, which will be used to market the event. 

Open studios creative producer Jill Rivers organised the event and said all of the local councillors were invited. 

Ms Rivers said without funding, the program, which attracted 4000 visitors to the region last year, wouldn’t have been able to deliver the quality it was renowned for.

About 30 local artists across Hepburn and Macedon open their doors to tourists for three weekends in November. 

Ms Rivers said almost a half of the visitors were locals while the rest come from Victoria and interstate. 

Sculptors, painters and mosaic artists would be part of the program this year, Ms Rivers said.

Member for Northern Victoria Region Amanda Millar said the program appealed to a wide audience and reflected the quality and range of fine arts and craft practised in the

region.

william.vallely@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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