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Oscar and Penelope Blyth taking part in the annual Hills Billy Cart Festival last year.

Billy carts fest gets funding

SHIRE of Mundaring councillors voted to support one of the region’s most unique and popular events at last week’s council meeting, with additional funding that will pay for its hefty insurance bill.

The Hills Billy Cart festival has become an institution in the Perth Hills for locals and fun-seekers from further afield but the event, which is about building and racing billy carts on the streets of Mount Helena, is incredibly expensive to run.

Now in its fifth year, event insurance has jumped from $2000 to $8600, leaving organisers struggling to find the funds for this October’s festival and exposing issues with the Shire’s current grant system.

After being approached by organisers, councillor Luke Ellery put forward a motion at last Tuesday’s monthly meeting to request support from the Shire to give the event an additional $3600 on top of the $5000 already donated and his fellow councillors agreed.

Organiser John Bell said he was very grateful but that he felt a review of the council’s grant system would help small events like his get underway.

“The festival is run entirely by volunteers and operates as a not-for-profit entity,” Mr Bell said.

“We hope it will become financially sustainable and that we might assist council in developing a more appropriate grants policy and structure.”

By Rebecca Peppiatt 

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