Council to contribute to wellness festival

Former Chief Executive Officer of Hepburn Shire Council, Aaron van Egmond, agreed to contribute $15,000 to a new wellness festival last year without putting it before council.

Daylesford Macedon Ranges Tourism met with the previous CEO on November 15, 2017 to discuss funding.

WELLNESS: Hepburn Springs and Daylesford will host the main events of the festival. Photo: Dylan Burns

WELLNESS: Hepburn Springs and Daylesford will host the main events of the festival. Photo: Dylan Burns

Without putting the matter before councillors, it was agreed $5000 would be paid in March 2018 with a further $10,000 to be paid in the 2018-19 financial year. 

At its August council meeting, councillors resolved to provide the further funding, despite reservations. 

Councillor Neil Newitt said he was “not impressed” and held concerns for the volunteer-run Kyneton and Clunes Shows, to be held over the same weekend, while councillor Don Henderson said he was unhappy a council officer had committed council to a budget decision. 

New CEO Evan King said council endorsed the in principal agreement in accordance with the Events Policy 31 (C).

“The value of the contribution classifies it as a Major Event which requires a report to be prepared for Council to consider the funding request,” he said.