The Whittlesea Community Festival is on the move – again.
After voting in August to relocate the festival from Lalor’s Whittlesea Public Gardens to the civic centre in South Morang, councillors last week voted to move it back to the gardens from 2019.
Next year’s festival will be held at the civic centre, with councillors deciding it would be challenging to move it now.
The decision to relocate the festival from Lalor angered many in the community, with many saying residents had not been consulted about the change.
The festival is Whittlesea’s biggest community event and has been held at the gardens for 20 years.
In an item of urgent business at last week’s council meeting, Cr Lawrie Cox urged his colleagues to return the festival to Lalor.
“The move has failed a basic test of fairness to ensure that festivals and events are spread throughout the whole of the Whittlesea municipality,” he said.
“[The festival] is the only major event within the western side but also in the original developed areas of Lalor and Thomastown.”
Cr Cox said if he had his way, next year’s festival would be moved back to Lalor. However officers had advised that contracts had already been signed for the 2018 event at the civic centre.
Mayor Kris Pavlidis, who earlier this year accused the council of failing “due diligence” by moving the event, said Cr Cox’s proposal was a win for the community.