New Mardi Gras ended last financial year with close to $500,000 in the bank. However, with provision for a possible tax bill and their next payment to the old Mardi Gras administrators, they will be left with less than $120,000 to fund next year’s Mardi Gras season.

The profit figures were revealed at a general meeting held last Saturday in Newtown, attended by over 30 members.

The audited results prompted NMG member Larry Galbraith to move the crowd to applaud the board for their fiscal excellence, although treasurer Nick Parker recommended caution. NMG has some way to go to make the organisation viable and sustainable and it may be two or three years before the foundation was established, he said.

Co-chair Michael Woodhouse said NMG had an extraordinarily successful season demonstrating that Mardi Gras continues to be a critical and relevant part of the community.

New Mardi Gras may be liable for $196,000 in tax if the group’s application to be deemed a not-for-profit organisation is rejected by the Australian Tax Office.

Funds raised from Sleaze Ball 2003 were not discussed at the meeting, with final figures still unavailable four weeks after the event.

Woodhouse told the Star, Whilst we don’t have final figures at this stage, it will be a moderate profit -“ somewhat below what we would have hoped.

This year is still going to be a major financial challenge and we’re working really hard at the moment to ensure that our budget is balanced, Woodhouse said.

The meeting was also held to vote on the issue of two-year terms for board members. A vote of 75 percent was required to extend the terms to two years. The motion was lost after considerable debate, with 74.5 percent voting in favour.

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