A football and netball event celebrating Indigenous contributions to Australia is likely to receive a $11,250 grant from City of Ballarat.
The annual NAIDOC Football and Netball Carnival will be held on October 12 to 14 at Mars Stadium, Lakers Oval and Wendouree Basketball Centre. It is co-organised by the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative (BADAC).
While the event holders requested $15,000 to create a new website and to cover the carnival’s promotion, council officers have recommended a $11,250 cash grant, with free venue hire at Mars Stadium, valued at $3,000.
In a report, council officers stated the reduced funding was because the event was unlikely to become self-sustaining and would likely move to a different city. They said the projected attendance numbers represented a “significant and unproven increase from the 2017 event’s post event data”.
The carnival is expected to host up to 5,000 people across the weekend, with an anticipated economic impact of approximately $1,269,000, according to the BADAC grant application. Last year, the event hosted 3,500 people.
City of Ballarat councillors will consider the tourism event grant at an ordinary council meeting on September 12.
BADAC chief executive officer Karen Heap said the state-wide carnival “brings a lot of people into Ballarat”, including families set to spend big on accommodation and meals.
“The reality is they’ll be building up the infrastructure of Ballarat and the district with where they are staying, and you’re talking big numbers, three to four thousand people if not more,” she said.
The 2017 event was also a draw card for seven of the game’s best Indigenous players, including Chris Johnson (Fitzroy/Brisbane Lions), Leon Davis (Collingwood) and Aaron Davey (Melbourne) who took part in the carnival.
With 1034 games of AFL experience between them, Ballarat Wanderers captain Aaron Clarke told The Courier last year told the decorated players were a huge asset to the carnival.
“It gives everyone a bit more of a pump-up knowing that they’re going to be running around playing against blokes who have played in the AFL before,” he said.