Council blocks funding reduction proposal
■ 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.