THE city’s businesses are being called on to contribute money and manpower to this year’s V8 race street parade.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry has contracted Belinda’s Secretarial Centre to contact up to 200 Bathurst businesses to ask their willingness to contribute to the annual parade.
This followed a discussion forum on Wednesday night at which Bathurst councillors accused the business community of apathy.
CBD businesses and the city’s major employers will be asked by telephone whether they are prepared to participate in the street parade, held in association with the 2002 V8 Supercar race.
If businesses are not prepared to enter a float they will be asked to contribute to the overall cost of the event.
Chamber of Commerce president Lachlan Sullivan said he hoped each business would contribute at least $200 towards the parade. He said if 200 businesses contributed $200 this would give the parade a $40,000 budget.
Businesses will be contacted on Wednesday and Thursday.
Mr Sullivan said the chamber would also approach the Panthers and RSL Clubs for support and had requested the city’s pubs to help out.
“Council is saying a community group should take it (the parade) up, yet what is council – council represents the community,” Mr Sullivan said.
Debbie Campbell of Bathurst Florist has also offered to help coordinate the parade.
Australian Hoteliers Association Bathurst branch president Roger Joyce said he hoped to raise Mr Sullivan’s proposal at the next meeting of publicans.
“The local businesses have got to support it (too) – restaurants and motels get just as much out of it (as pubs),” he said.
Mayor Ian Macintosh said the council had recognised the need for a carnival atmosphere in the CBD during race week.
“You don’t have motor races up the Mount totally in isolation,” he said.
Cr Macintosh said the city should “work towards a parade – it fits well within the concept of motor racing … but it has to be well organised, well funded and well run”.
He said the council was likely to continue coordinating events but was looking for more community input and support.
Cr Macintosh said it was not possible to run a great parade if the whole task was left to council because it did not have the resources to run it.
“It has to be a community effort.”
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