Ballarat's annual Carols by Candlelight will be moving back to Mars Stadium after City of Ballarat councillors approved the extension of its funding agreement.
At Wednesday night's council meeting, councillors voted in favour of extending council's strategic partnership with Ballarat Carols by Candlelight.
With the event unable to go ahead last Christmas due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organising group's strategic partnership with council will now run until Christmas 2022 in lieu of the cancelled event.
Previously, Ballarat Carols by Candlelight Inc. had entered into a strategic partnership with council in 2019 for a total of $45,000 to run through the following three years.
Ballarat Carols by Candlelight requested the variation to the agreement so rather than losing a year of funding, the partnership would be extended by one year in compensation for the lost year.
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As part of the altered agreement, council will exclude funding from the 2020-21 financial year and push the existing funding schedule back one year.
As an added support measure, council will also waive the $2000 hire fee for the use of Mars Stadium to bring Carols by Candlelight back to the venue after it was held at City Oval in 2019.
Presenting to council, Ballarat Carols by Candlelight president Matt Hustwaite said Carols would not be feasible without the funding and waived hire fee.
"There's no other venue in the city that's capable and has demonstrated an ability to house large gatherings in this COVID climate," he said.
Central ward councillor Samantha McIntosh said the event was loved by the community.
"It's obviously grown, it's hit a tough road with COVID, as many other events have, and personally, I feel it is a responsibility of ours as a council to support those providing an event like this at minimal cost to our community," she said.
Council will enter into a three-year agreement worth almost $2.4 million with Pinegro Products to supply green waste processing services following a decision by councillors.
The deal also has a provision for a one-year extension worth almost $800,000.
Also at Wednesday night's council meeting, councillors voted to adopt its new four-year council plan, community vision and municipal public health and wellbeing plan. The three documents are required by the state government and provide a strategic direction for council, describe the community's aspirations for the city and outline its health priorities.
Council's 10-year draft financial plan will be advertised and made open for public submissions which will open on August 30 and close on September 13.
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