Coun­cil blocks fund­ing re­duc­tion pro­posal

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

■ A pro­posal to halve com­mu­nity as­so­ci­a­tion fund­ing next fi­nan­cial year has been unan­i­mously blocked by City of Kar­ratha coun­cil­lors.

The plan was put on the ta­ble at last week’s coun­cil meet­ing to con­sult rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers about cap­ping An­nual Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion De­vel­op­ment Scheme fund­ing for each group at $50,000 a year.

It was noted in the agenda al­most $1.5 mil­lion in the past four fi­nan­cial years had been held in re­serve by the as­so­ci­a­tions.

Dampier Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Ge­or­gia Evans and Wick­ham Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Fiona WhiteHar­tig both de­cried the lack of con­sul­ta­tion by the City be­fore the meet­ing.

“Ob­vi­ously we were very con­cerned be­cause the tim­ing couldn’t be worse from the DCA’s per­spec­tive,” Mrs Evans said.

“We have al­ready lost $100,000 per an­num due to the clo­sure of Kan­ga­roo Hill on top of los­ing (ser­vices) we are no longer man­ag­ing.

“While DCA con­tin­ues to look at other in­come streams ACADS re­mains a cen­tral part of our rev­enue which we are able to put back into com­mu­nity projects.

“We’re ab­so­lutely de­lighted the coun­cil have seen the value in the ACAD scheme be­cause re­ally what it’s all about is putting City spend and the most grass­roots level.”

Ms White-Har­tig said the WCA of­ten do­nated ACADS funds to other com­mu­nity groups and ran events in the ab­sence of City-held events. City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said the de­ci­sion would not af­fect the bud­get as funds had al­ready been al­lo­cated.

“These funds are for in­vest­ments in our com­mu­nity, whether those are made by the City it­self or by com­mu­nity as­so­ci­a­tions,” he said.

“Bench­mark­ing un­der­taken by coun­cil of­fi­cers demon­strated that our com­mu­nity as­so­ci­a­tions re­ceive sig­nif­i­cantly higher fund­ing than com­mu­nity as­so­ci­a­tions in other lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas.

“While fund­ing al­lo­ca­tions are high, there is a history of in­abil­ity to spend and ac­quit these funds.”

Mr Long said even with the mooted changes fund­ing al­lo­ca­tions would still have ex­ceeded those of other lo­cal gov­ern­ments in WA.

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