STAWELL Gift prize money levels have been restored through a new agreement between the state government, Northern Grampians Shire Council and the Stawell Athletic Club.
It was announced today that the three parties entered into a Memorandum of Understanding, with the agreement restoring prize money levels and retaining broadcast arrangements for the 2019 Stawell Gift.
It comes after revelations earlier this month that the total winning prize money for the winners of the Stawell Gift and Women’s Gift this year dropped from $40,000 to $17,000 each.
The state government, the council and the Stawell Athletic Club have also agreed to work in partnership to determine a sustainable operating model for the event into the future.
The club has acknowledged that the operating model for the event required major reform and has agreed to participate in an independent review following the 2019 event.
This year will be 138th running of the Stawell Gift.
The state government has allocated up to $138,000 for continuity of the event, while the council will contribute $60,000 as well as additional labour.
Northern Grampians Mayor Kevin Erwin said he was pleased with the result.
"Council is very happy to be working with Stawell Athletic Club and the state government to secure the long-term future of the Stawell Gift. It's great to see the prize money, broadcast and prestige restored to the Gift," he said.
Stawell Athletic Club Darryle Harrison president said he was grateful for the arrangement.
“We’re grateful to the Victorian Government and Northern Grampians Shire Council for their support in getting the 2019 Stawell Gift back on track, and we look forward to working in partnership to ensure the future of the event," he said.