Bicentenary fund sought

WOLLONGONG City Council could commit up to $40,000 to fund events marking Wollongong's bicentenary as plans for the 2015-16 anniversary move forward.

The council is set to vote at tonight's meeting on recommendations calling for the council to allocate up to $20,000 from its existing 2014-15 and 2015-16 community events budget to sponsor bicentenary events. At present there is no funding allocated in either budget for the celebration.

Councillors have also been asked to support plans to advertise for a Wollongong bicentenary committee and to investigate applying for heritage grants.

The council resolved in March to form a committee to facilitate the development of events to commemorate 200 years of British settlement in the region.

If endorsed, the committee will be comprised of two councillors, a representative from the Wollongong Heritage Advisory Committee, a representative from the Aboriginal community and seven independent members. Membership will be filled by public advertisement and selection by the council.

Councillors have previously noted that celebrations need to be "inclusive", recognising the multiple cultural stories that make up the city's heritage, and need to acknowledge the sensitivities surrounding the impact of European settlement on the region's Aboriginal community.

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