Councillors seek grants overhaul
Councillors have called for an overhaul of the grants offered by the City of Karratha after a recommendation to reduce funds for the Annual Community Association Development Scheme was knocked back for the second year in a row.
A review of all five grant schemes was put on the table at last week’s council meeting, which recommended funding to community associations be halved to $50,000 each, with increases to the annual and quarterly grants schemes for 2017-18.
Councillor Grant Cucel said ACADS was important as it gave control to communities as to where their money was spent.
Community associations have increasingly put the $100,000 funding allocation in reserve, altered its purpose or delayed its delivery.
Mr Cucel offered an alternative that would see unused funds allocated to the other two schemes.
Councillor Fiona White-Hartig said the Wickham Community Association, of which she is president, “may as well give up” if funding were cut to $50,000.
City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said councillors had a strong view that the level of funding for community associations should be maintained.
“Council also recognises that our other community grant funding programs are oversubscribed and many community groups are pitching worthy projects, however the level of funding across all grant programs is seen to be appropriate in the current economic climate,” he said.
“We are reviewing our policies to ensure our funds and expended to give the greatest benefit to the community across our three community grant funding streams.”
An alternate motion by Councillor John Lally to put the issue on the table and establish a working party was passed.
The pool of grants from the City totals $975,000, nearly six times higher than grants offered by the Town of Port Hedland.