BEEF WEEK BACK ON TRACK
By HELEN JACK
BEEF WEEK is not dead.
Instead, if Beef Week committee members and enthusiastic volunteers have their way it will be bigger and better than ever in 2008.
At a meeting held on Monday night at Casino RSM 30 people committed to recreating Casino's signature event by voting to enlist the services of Sydney-based consulting firm Loric Management.
Loric was chosen from a group of three expressions of interests to help the committee create a business plan for any future festival.
Beef Week vice-president Janelle McLennan said expressions of interest were received from Southern Cross University costing $10,000, the Northern Rivers Meat Company who offered a $250 computer program, and Loric Management costing $6500.
Richmond Valley Council representative Peter Byrne said at the meeting the council would put in $2000 to help the committee afford Loric's proposal.
The decision to accept Loric's proposal was unanimous.
"The plan will come up with a direction for the festival and its implementation will finalise a Beef Week program for 2008 and beyond," said Mr Byrne.
"For example that could be in an arts direction, or an industry direction, or both. These are opportunities the Beef Week committee can put into place once the document is completed.
"Council's role is as an interested partner and stakeholder in the event.
"We will liaise with the consultants because the com- mittee doesn't have anyone on the ground to do it because they don't have a coordinator."
Enthusiasm at the meeting was evident with three people offering to organise fund-raising functions during the year to funnel funds back into Beef Week.
"It was a great meeting and it gave me confidence," said Mr Byrne.
"There were 12 people under the age of 30 and I don't think that has happened before. If they can keep that it up it will be a good mix of people."
The next public meeting of Beef Week will be on April 16 in Casino RSM at 7.30pm.