Events in limbo as cash sits

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Per­era

A se­ries of com­mu­nity events en­dorsed un­der Kar­ratha CBD ac­ti­va­tion grants have been in­def­i­nitely de­layed pend­ing a State Gov­ern­ment re­view.

Fund­ing ap­provals for the City Cen­tre Ac­ti­va­tion Grant scheme, funded by Roy­al­ties for Re­gions through LandCorp and dis­trib­uted by the City of Kar­ratha for events that in­crease public en­gage­ment with the Kar­ratha city cen­tre, were sus­pended in early Fe­bru­ary un­der State Gov­ern­ment care­taker con­ven­tions.

How­ever, Min­is­ter for Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Alan­nah MacTier­nan has not yet made a de­ci­sion on the fu­ture of the scheme while the City has since en­dorsed a num­ber of lo­cal events for the grants in ac­cor­dance with their agree­ment with LandCorp.

Af­fected events in­clude the Kar­ratha Mother’s Day Clas­sic, the large-scale City to Surf fun run from Ac­tiv, a nine-day ice-skat­ing event pro­posed by Wrapped Cre­ations and the Kar­ratha City Mar­kets. Wrapped Cre­ations event di­rec­tor David Yakas said the de­lay in get­ting fund­ing ap­proved for their event was hold­ing up the rest of the process and may force them to post­pone.

“With only two months left to the event and still not know­ing, it’s mak­ing it tough to de­liver the event,” he said.

“Be­cause at the mo­ment we don’t have the ap­provals, we can’t lock in sup­pli­ers or ad­ver­tis­ing … so for us it’s dis­ap­point­ing.

“But ours is com­pletely re-schedu­la­ble. Some events are re­ally date-driven, like Mother’s Day Clas­sic or City to Surf.”

The Kar­ratha City Mar­kets, orig­i­nally due to start in May, will also now be post­poned un­til June or July.

Mother’s Day Clas­sic was late last month granted its as­signed $7692 fund­ing be­cause the event’s

May 14 date was fast ap­proach­ing, but fund­ing for all oth­ers re­mains un­cer­tain.

The City of Kar­ratha was due to hold a spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing on Mon­day night to de­cide what to do with ap­pli­ca­tions so far ap­proved un­der the scheme.

Op­tions put to the coun­cil in­cluded fund­ing events from the City’s mu­nic­i­pal funds, en­forc­ing their fund­ing deed with LandCorp or con­tin­u­ing to await a de­ci­sion by the Gov­ern­ment.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said they were tak­ing ac­tion to ad­dress the un­cer­tainty cre­ated for event or­gan­is­ers whose pro­pos­als had al­ready been en­dorsed by the coun­cil.

“(The) coun­cil is acutely aware that un­cer­tainty around fund­ing for these events may have sig­nif­i­cant im­pact to their de­liv­ery and so will ta­ble the is­sue at a spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing on Mon­day night,” he said.

LandCorp re­gional man­ager Travis McNaught said LandCorp in con­junc­tion with the Pil­bara De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion was re­view­ing the grant scheme and would be hold­ing a se­ries of meet­ings with the Gov­ern­ment to dis­cuss it fur­ther.

He said LandCorp was of­fer­ing event or­gan­is­ers cost-free use of the tem­po­rary event space out­side the Kar­ratha Quar­ter in the mean­time.

Mr Yakas said the ac­ti­va­tion grants were a boon for lo­cal event or­gan­is­ers and he hoped they would re­main in place.

“For us it ticks all the right boxes for what we want in fund­ing, and we do hope that fund­ing of the grant con­tin­ues,” he said.

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