Two Yaks get up close and personal during the Russian Roolettes aerobatic performance at the Wide Bay Australian International Airshow.
Two Yaks get up close and personal during the Russian Roolettes aerobatic performance at the Wide Bay Australian International Airshow. Max Fleet

Airshow hopes to land state funds

ORGANISERS are confident they can secure the future of the Wide Bay Australia International Airshow, with “positive” signs they will get funding from the State Government.

While Treasurer Andrew Fraser was non-committal about funding while in Bundaberg on Friday, airshow committee members are optimistic the money will come to the rescue of the stagnating show.

Airshow chairman Peter Tuffield said the group had met with Deputy Premier Paul Lucas and Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading Peter Lawlor at the community cabinet meeting in August.

Organisers also plan to schedule a meeting at the end of November once the event’s Economic Impact Assessment is complete, which is expected to be within the next couple of weeks.

“The meetings we have had with the State Government have been very positive,” Mr Tuffield said.

Airshow director Neil McPhillips told the NewsMail in August that for the show to be economically viable it would need support from the government, volunteers, the community and sponsors.

Ray Linderberg, marketing manager for naming rights sponsor Wide Bay Australia, said the organisation would continue to back the board.

However, he felt the government also needed to support what was a major event for an area in need.

"We are very keen to see the government support the airshow because it is a really good event for the area," he said.

The 2009 event did receive $15,000 funding from the government through the Queensland Events program.

To ensure the airshow would continue, this year organisers needed to take $1.2 million at the event and they just managed to break even.

The search for further funding comes after lower-than-forecast crowds have left the event treading water.

Mr Tuffield said government support would make a big difference to the event.

"State government funding will mean we are able to take it to a new high," he said.

At a local level, Bundaberg Regional Council has already pledged $50,000 towards the 2011 show.



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