Delivery of Tasmania’s largest celebration of local produce will be overhauled to secure its long-term future, the City of Hobart Council has announced.
The Council will take steps to transition the Taste of Tasmania to a new ownership model, providing greater scope to grow the iconic festival beyond Hobart’s boundaries.
Lord Mayor, Anna Reynolds said Council had delivered the event for more than three decades, developing it to a point where it had outgrown the City’s resources.
“The Taste of Tasmania generates huge economic and social benefits to Tasmania – not just Hobart – worth around $47 million a year to the state,” Lord Mayor Reynolds said.
“Putting on an event of the size and scope of the Taste takes a large amount of resources and funding, which in turn rests on Hobart’s ratepayers.”
The 2020-21 festival was cancelled due to the pandemic, and a combination of financial and commercial constraints, compounded by ongoing COVID uncertainties has snow een the 2021-22 festival also axed.
“If the festival was to go ahead this year, it would not be able to meet the high expectations of our community, sponsors, visitors and stakeholders and that could damage the long-term sustainability of the event,” Lord Mayor Reynolds said.
“The Taste of Tasmania’s reputation is too important to risk. Instead, this forced hiatus has given us an opportunity to stop, take stock of what has been successfully built over many years, and take the necessary steps towards a more sustainable future for the festival.”
She said feedback received from key stakeholders supported a shift toward a new ownership and delivery model in order to explore the event’s full potential.
“It was acknowledged that the festival had grown to such a high level of state significance that is was no longer reasonable for City of Hobart ratepayers to underwrite the event.”
“The City was already taking steps to reduce its financial commitment – on the basis of increased investment by the state government – in recognition of the state-wide value and the fact that it was Hobart ratepayers carrying most of the load.
“With this in mind, now is the appropriate time for a new approach, beyond what can be delivered under the City of Hobart’s exclusive ownership.”
She said a 12-month transition plan will be developed to identify the best way forward for the event.
“We are confident this is the best outcome for all involved – including our community,” the Lord Mayor said.
“We will be communicating with businesses and stakeholders to make this transition a smooth one.
“The Taste of Tasmania is an iconic event and we want only the best for its future.”