21/09/2004 - 22:00

Terrace Proms closed by tax man

21/09/2004 - 22:00

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Terrace Proms closed by tax man

THE Australian Tax Office may bring an end to Terrace Proms, the event that brings classical music to the foyers of buildings on St Georges Terrace once a year.

The ATO has commenced proceedings to have Terrace Proms and Vision Events Management – a company linked to the event – wound up for unpaid tax.

However, there is hope the event could live on as part of the Perth International Arts Festival.

Peter Hesketh, the man behind both Terrace Proms and Vision Events, said he would not fight the winding up orders.

"It’s the end of Terrace Proms and Vision Events as entities," he said.

Mr Hesketh refused to elaborate on how much money the ATO was seeking, saying only "it wasn’t sheep stations".

He said an increase in the number of summer concerts such as Jackson Browne, the Beach Boys and Kiss had been largely to blame for the collapse of the event.

"All the big events that have come into town really hit into the small operators like myself," Mr Hesketh said.

"The corporate dollars we normally get weren’t there this year. We couldn’t raise the funds to keep the event going."

Mr Hesketh said that was largely a function of corporates spending their sponsorship money to support the large events.

He also said the City of Perth’s lack of support had not been helpful.

"The City of Perth weren’t giving as much as they used to," Mr Hesketh said.

However, a City of Perth spokesman said Mr Hesketh had approached the council for funding and been invited to make a presentation to the council’s sponsorship committee.

However, the spokesman said, Mr Hesketh turned down the opportunity to make the presentation.

Council last year cut its $28,000 funding to Terrace Proms in half.

That resulted in no free events being staged as part of Terrace Proms.

At the time, Lord Mayor Peter Nattrass told WA Business News that council had cut its funding because councillors felt the Proms had become a commercial event.

However, there was also a feeling in council that the event had not lived up to its potential.

Terrace Proms last year brought acts such as the Australian Opera Studio presenting children’s opera Dryblower and the Water Girl; Australian classical guitarist Craig Ogden and his wife, the British mezzo-soprano Claire Bradshaw; and the WA Youth Orchestra Sinfonietta, to the terrace.

Mr Hesketh said there may be a life for Terrace Proms, which first started in 1999, as part of PIAF.

"It would be sad to see the proms close," he said.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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