Ballarat City councillors look set to knock back an application for $25,000 from the Jayco Herald Sun Tour cycling race, which will again be making a stop in the city in February.
The application for a one-year tourism event grant would be used traffic management, marketing and broadcasting, community engagement program, infrastructure and commentary according to the submission made to council.
Event organisers anticipate 5000 people would be present to watch the end of the second stage of the race in Ballarat, injecting more than $170,000 into the local economy. The crowd estimate was labelled as “optimistic” by council officers when compared to previous events held in Ballarat.
Jayco Herald Sun Tour race director John Trevorrow said the crowd was likely to be considerably larger for the 2018 event due to the inclusion of star riders such as Tour de France winner Chris Froome.
He said if council was unable to provide the funding the tour would be unlikely to stop in the city.
“The event has changed quite a lot since it was last in Ballarat and it’s stepped up quite a bit in profile,” Mr Trevorrow said. “Hopefully we can work out a suitable arrangement because we think it’s fantastic for the event and great for Ballarat.”
While Ballarat has become a destination for cycling through the Road Nationals, Visit Ballarat is supporting the recommendation to decline funding to the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
Ballarat City Deputy mayor Mark Harris said while the tour was a “great event”, he questioned whether council’s should be required to provide funding.
“As we continually go on about, there’s only a certain amount of cash so we’ve got to go around.”