13/10/2016 - 14:15

Tourism sponsorships stay secret

13/10/2016 - 14:15

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The amount of money the state government pumps into big events like the Hopman Cup, the Perth Fashion Festival, V8 Supercars and Margaret River Gourmet Escape is set to remain a secret after a review by the auditor general.

The amount of money the state government pumps into big events like the Hopman Cup, the Perth Fashion Festival, V8 Supercars and Margaret River Gourmet Escape is set to remain a secret after a review by the auditor general.

In a report released today, the auditor general said sponsorship support for 16 big events was considered commercial-in-confidence.

As such, he said it was reasonable and appropriate for premier and tourism minister Colin Barnett to not provide information to Parliament on these Western Australian Tourism Commission sponsorship agreements.

The Tourism Commission had 92 sponsorship agreements in 2014-15 and information on most of these was tabled in parliament.

These included $645,000 for the Ord Valley Muster, $397,000 for CinefestOz, $230,000 for Taste Great Southern and $200,000 for Home, the opening concert at last year’s Perth International Arts Festival.

Acting auditor general Glen Clarke said the premier did not provide information for 16 sponsorship agreements, for events that compete with interstate and international destinations.

Tourism WA advised the premier that the release of this information would compromise future negotiations and cause commercial harm to the state,” Mr Clarke said.

“I found this position reasonable and noted that Tourism WA, in forming its assessment, used its policy and guidelines for determining when it can release event sponsorship information.

“As we have found during previous examinations, these guidelines provide suitable criteria for assessing if information is commercially sensitive.”

The 16 events included Sculpture by the Sea, the Margaret River Pro, the Perth Aquatic Super Series, Gran Fondo Cycling, hot air ballooning championships at Northam, and ironman and triathlon events in Busselton.

Most of the 92 sponsorship agreements by Tourism WA were for $25,000 or less.

The smallest was the national tidy town awards, hosted by the Shire of Toodyay, which attracted the grand sum of $1,000.

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