Foodie festival Tastings on Hastings has reached the end of the line as a council event.
Its future relies on an external operator taking up the Port Macquarie culinary and cultural festival.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has decided to discontinue to run Tastings on Hastings as a council event but consider providing future support to an externally-run Tastings on Hastings event.
Ian McKittrick from Ewetopia Farm said his reaction was one of frustration.
He said the council was not supporting local producers.
"A big part of me doesn't want to see it written off," he said about Tastings on Hastings.
"I hold out some hope it will happen again [as an externally-run event]," he said.
Totally FreeRange Eggs farm manager Michael Kendon said the council's decision was disappointing.
He said Tastings on Hastings provided community and economic benefits and opened people's eyes to what was available locally which had a flow-on effect.
A process to secure a 2019 event coordinator yielded no responses and meant this year's event wouldn't go ahead.
The next development came when the council considered bicentenary priorities, ArtWalk resourcing and Tastings on Hastings at its September meeting.
Cr Rob Turner said the council was not turning off Tastings on Hastings completely, and if someone wanted to run the event, the council should help them.
He recognised the Slice of Haven operators were doing a fantastic job in the Camden Haven.
"They have worked pretty hard down there and we now have the opportunity to really promote that as the premier wine and food event in the area and I think it's important that we have something in that space," Cr Turner said.
The council has recognised Slice of Haven is likely to be the premier food and wine event in the Greater Port Macquarie area in 2020 and increased the budget for support of this event from $5000 to $10,000 for 2020.
Mayor Peta Pinson said the council was not equipped to run events like Tastings on Hastings.
She said Tastings on Hastings had been well-loved by the community but the council thought it was time a professional event coordinator took an interest and operated an externally-run Tastings on Hastings event.
The council will continue to support events and activities that showcase local producers and produce as guided by the 2019-2024 Port Macquarie-Hastings Events Plan.
The 2021 bicentenary event and 2020 and 2021 ArtWalk events are set to be signature council-run events.
The 2019-20 Tastings on Hastings $36,200 net budget will be reallocated to support the delivery of the bicentenary and ArtWalk events.
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