Liability dispute threatens future of popular Gympie region festival
UPDATE 7.50am: KILKIVAN'S popular Utes and Boots festival has now been postponed due to difficulties with the hire of the Kilkivan showgrounds for the Australia Day 2020 event.
On a Facebook post last night, a spokesperson for the Killy Utes and Boots said they will have to put off the event until a later date in the new year.
"The Killy Utes and Boots committee are working hard to get the event passed through but at this stage time is running out," the spokesperson said.
"We will keep everyone informed when approval is granted and we will back big and better than ever."
EARLIER: KILKIVAN'S popular Utes and Boots festival is at risk of being axed from the town over contractual issues between two other parties.
The festival's future is caught between Gympie Regional Council and the Kilkivan Show and Campdraft Association over liability fears - a snag Gympie councillors hope to unravel at tomorrow's meeting.
The KSCA holds a lease over the entire showground site until March 2023.
However the council excised land to build and manage the $2 million equestrian centre.
When council officers approved the Utes and Boots Festival for next January, they did so on the grounds the group got written consent from the KSCA to use the campdraft arena.
The KSCA refused, saying their lease meant they were liable for any risk associated with the event.
As a solution the council proposes asking the KSCA to surrender its lease and a new management plan be installed.
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Without this, "there is a risk that the Killy Utes and Boots event cannot occur on this site until" at least 2023.
The Kilkivan Showgrounds' management is one of almost a dozen items on tomorrow's agenda. The public can expect an early mark though - almost half of them will be debated in committee.
These include items about the Rattler, the restoration of four bridges and a sponsorship program for major events.
Last month's request to allow chief executive Bernard Smith to vary contracts also returns in open council.
Under the proposal the chief executive will be able to approve changes of a maximum 20 per cent above the $550,000 contract limit already in place.
Councillors were told at November's meeting this change was requested by the council's procurement arm. They delayed a decision until they had more information.
An extension of the Aero Club's lease and guidelines for public monuments and memorials is also on the list.