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Darwin Fest to go ahead as auditors put in charge

The NT government has acquiesced to providing more funding for Australia's financially troubled Darwin Festival – but only after sacking its entire board

By IQ on 09 Jun 2016

Darwin Festival, Festival Park

Darwin's Festival Park during last year's event

image © Darwin Festival

The under-threat Darwin Festival in Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) will go ahead as planned after securing additional funding from the NT government, says a spokesman for its auditors.

Hendri Mentz of Deloitte, which is investigating the festival’s books as it faces a A$450,000 shortfall amid accusations of financial mismanagement, yesterday told radio station ABC Darwin that the government is “very happy to support the festival as planned at the moment”, including committing to further funding in addition to the $450,000 requested.

Mentz yesterday took over as statutory manager of the festival, replacing former chief minister Clare Martin after the entire board was dismissed by the NT’s director-general of licensing.

The promise of more funds comes contrary to the previous position of NT chief minister Adam Giles, who told ABC News earlier this week that it was up to the festival to resolve its financial difficulties. “That’s a matter for the festival organisers,” he said. “They’re the ones who are responsible for this. They come to us and ask us to provide resources. We provide resources and they overspend their money.”

Darwin Festival 2016, headlined by former Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett, will run from 4 to 21 August at various venues across the city of Darwin.


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