Foodie lovers can scratch off Tastings on Hastings from their 2018 calendar.
The much-loved festival will not go ahead this year.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will instead put its resources towards a bicentenary event as the key community event for 2018.
Jill McKittrick and Peter Stephens wanted Tastings on Hastings to continue.
Wauchope Farmers’ Market secretary and Ewetopia Farm’s Jill McKittrick spoke about the benefits from Tastings on Hastings.
“It would be disappointing to lose the event and I don’t see that any other single event could easily replace it,” she said.
Greater Port Macquarie Tourism Association representative and Port Macquarie-Hastings Council Bicentennial Working Group member Janette Hyde spoke in favour of a bicentenary event.
She said it was planned to create an exciting and vibrant community event known as Explore Greater Port Macquarie.
“There are many aspects of Tastings on Hastings which should not be lost and would be relevant to the proposed October celebration,” she said.
Peter Stephens from Backa Mid North Coast said Tastings on Hastings was an ongoing event with a proud history and it didn’t need to be interrupted.
He said Tastings on Hastings was an inclusive event.
The council has asked the general manager to table a future strategy for Tastings on Hastings at the November council meeting with the intention to continue to deliver the event from 2019 onward.
Cr Mike Cusato said Tastings on Hastings had a great history.
“I do believe if we revisit this event and have a new strategy and review the event and make it bigger and better for the community, we can do that from 2019 onward,” he said.
Cr Cusato said in the interim there would be a fantastic bicentenary event.
The bicentenary event in October is planned to feature music, cultural experiences and food and beverages.
Heritage sites would connect the community to the story of our place and the bicentenary.
It is 200 years since John Oxley’s 1818 expedition, while 2021 marks 200 years since Europeans established Port Macquarie as a penal settlement.
Cr Geoff Hawkins said the council needed to make sure that not proceeding with Tastings on Hastings was not seen as a great negative.
He said it was important to incorporate the best of Tastings on Hastings in the bicentenary event so if they continued with Tastings on Hastings in the future, all the investment, effort and goodwill was not lost.
Cr Turner said it was time to really examine how the event was delivered.
He encouraged Mrs McKittrick and Mr Stephens to be part of the conversation about how Tastings on Hastings reinvented itself as a bigger and better event.