The Mid-Western Regional Council will not be providing any financial support to the Mudgee 200 Years celebration, as revealed at the July 2021 ordinary meeting.
Council made the decision to not acknowledge the arrival of the first Europeans to Menah in 1821, dismissing the motion put forward by Councillor Percy Thompson that recommended council provide $3,000 of financial support from the events assistance fund.
In addition to the sum, it was suggested council provide traffic and coordination for a parade and markets that are to be held as part of the event.
The Local Traffic Committee are yet to assess the impact and conditions of any road closures for the celebration.
While the motion put forth came to a split vote, Mayor Des Kennedy used his casting vote to dismiss the recommendation.
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Councillor Esme Martens was first to speak on the topic and said she believed the 200 year event to be a 'great opportunity to celebrate'.
"I know council have previously said they'll have a celebration for when Mudgee was gazetted but I think it's quite an opportunity to have one right here and now," Cr Martens said.
"I'm certainly in favour of trying to reconcile with Indigenous people so let's all get together and have a great celebration.
"We give money to lots of organisations which is a great thing. I'm not against giving this group $3,000 for the celebrations...it's a great opportunity to have a celebration."
Deputy mayor, Sam Paine reminded council of Mudgee Local Aboriginal Land Council's (LALC) earlier decision to not support the event.
"I think if we are going to promote this as an event that promotes reconciliation, it is not honest and it is not a good idea to put money to it," Cr Paine said.
"It's an event the Aboriginal community have very clearly said they're not interested in being a part of.
"To say that the Aboriginal community just has to reconcile with us is not a good argument, I really don't think we can support this."
Cr Paine suggested January 2038 to be a more appropriate and inclusive year for celebration, marking 200 years since Mudgee was gazetted.
"The only other reason for doing this is that you think history begins when the white people got here and when Mudgee started which is not true," Cr Paine added.
History didn't start when white people got here. It would be better to celebrate the gazetting of our town.Deputy mayor, Sam Paine
While the local organisers of the event, headed by Ned Dickson, were hoping for council's support, they told the Mudgee Guardian that a meeting would be held to discuss proceeding with the event despite council's decision.
Mudgee LALC were contacted for comment but one was not received before the time of publication.
The Mudgee 200 Years celebration is planned for Saturday November, 20 2021.
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