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Hobart’s Lord Mayor has declared he wants to “put the brakes” on a prominent tourism attraction that makes heaps of money and is pretty much the only thing his town has going for it.
Mayor Ron Christie has come out swinging against the edgy tourist attraction Dark Mofo this week, saying the annual winter festival run by a gallery that he didn’t have to pay any money to build is pushing the boundaries of good taste.
Ron Christie lashed out at what he described as the “shock festival” and suggested the Council may consider withdrawing its annual funding of $200,000 in cash and in-kind support of something that makes old Christians cranky.
Dark Mofo is now in its sixth year, and brings an estimated $50 million annually to the city, but it seems too good to be true for this politician – and in true politician fashion he hopes to make things difficult for everyone because he doesn’t get it.
Alderman Christie said he and his colleagues had been inundated with complaints about the festival, including the “unhealthy culture” it was generating, like art that doesn’t involve flattering portraits of people like him, and spooky upside down crosses.
“If we are going to have a festival that generates tens of millions of dollars over traditionally the worst time of the year for tourists, I’d much prefer to have it be something I came up with, and something I can be praised for” he said.