Cash for oil fest

PCC hands $50,000 to oil and gas conference

IT’LL cost Joe Ratepayer $50,000 but oil conference organisers reckon its visitors will spend north of $20 million in the capital city.

Perth city council this week approved unanimously the handing over of $50,000 to the Australiasian oil and gas conference for next March, saying the economic benefit to the city is well worth it.

“Organisers estimate that over $23 million was spent in WA by visitors, exhibitors and the organisers during AOG 2014, an increase of 22 per cent on 2013,” PCC staffers advise.

“The economic benefits to Perth are astounding,” Cr Rob Butler said.

He recalled he’d attended an early exhibition back in Langley Park about 30 years ago. It was held in a tent and he said people were asking even then when was Perth going to get a proper exhibition centre.

The 2015 Fringe World Festival also scored $72,531, with Cr Reece Harley noting WA police last year reported a “substantial reduction in crime” during the period as arty types filled Northbridge with whimsy.

The Blue Room was the other big beneficiary of ratepayer generosity, raking in $62,531 of council cash. Cr Jim Adamos said “the Blue Room is an incubator for bigger and better things and it’s important we support that”.

In other PCC financial news, CEO Gary Stevenson was handed a three per cent annual increment and his total annual package is now $361,662.

by DAVID BELL

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