A generous donation of $5000 from Hunters Hill Clr Dr Meredith Sheil has covered the sought after cost of a council donation to support the Harbour Sculptures exhibition.
The Harbour Sculptures exhibition features works from more than 100 Australian artists and is expected to attract 20,000 visitors to Clarke’s Point Reserve and the Hunters Hill Sailing Club for three weekends from March 16 until the second day of April.
The Council had agreed to waive fees of $28,865 for the event but event organiser’s sought an extra $5,000 to cover expenses that include insurance and event security.
“Our costs are $60,000 and the only other way we can see to recover our costs is to sell off art,” event promoter Helen Darke told Monday night’s Council meeting.
“If it wasn’t for support from Lane Cove MP Anthony Roberts I don’t know where we’d be.”
Hunters Hill General Manager Barry Smith offered to assist event organisers to reduce the estimated $5,000 insurance costs as council’s further contribution and to provide event volunteers with free parking permits at the Clarke’s Point car park.
Councillor Peter Astridge drew attention to the number of community events already funded at ratepayers expense.
“I’ve always been in favour of this event but the problem is we run so many events in Hunters Hill and it is a worry.”
Councillor Dr Meredith Sheil agreed.
“I think we do sponsor this event through the waiving of fees and volunteer parking vouchers and help with insurance and so I’m going to offer to pay the five thousand dollars myself,” she said.
Her generosity was applauded by the public gallery at the council meeting and by other councillors.
“On behalf of the community we are grateful for Councillor Sheil’s sponsorship,” Clr Justine McLaughlin said.
Local Art Collector Ron Kaplan will sponsor and children’s art prize and the major sponsors include URM Waste Management and AGL.