Vickers could not save all funding for Southern 80
A CAMPASPE Shire councillor has failed in her attempt to stop the organisation from reducing its funding contribution to the Southern 80 over the next three years.
In 2015 the Moama Water Sports Club approached council ‘‘urgently seeking’’ a multi-year funding agreement and an increase in cash assistance from $5000 to $25,000 due to financial difficulties and the event’s future being in jeopardy.
That was agreed to for 2016, 2017 and 2018 and included in-kind support of $25,000 each year.
On Tuesday councillors approved another three year agreement of $25,000 for 2019, $20,000 in 2020 and $15,000 in 2021, keeping the in-kind contributions at $25,000.
But Cr Annie Vickers did not agree the funding should be reduced and she foreshadowed a motion reflecting that, however, it was not successful.
‘‘Rather than reducing our support to them we should be building our support to encourage the growth of the event ... I think it’s a very important thing in the area,’’ Cr Vickers said at the meeting.
Cr Daniel Mackrell said the event was of international importance but council had limited funds.
‘‘The Campaspe Shire has limited funding for event support ... $25,000 to one event over a number of years does not allow council the opportunity or flexibility to attract and support new events ... the funding support is still significant and demonstrates councils ongoing commitment to this event,’’ Mr Mackrell said, reading from the council report.
Cr Neil Pankhurst said councillors needed to be ‘‘mindful of council’s role with events in the region’’. ‘‘We’re not actually here to run events,’’ he said.
‘‘Often events need funding to assist them get off the ground and get established and council well and truly has a role in that.
‘‘But it doesn’t necessarily mean we need to continue to contribute to those events at the same level year on year.’’
MWSC president Steve Shipp welcomed the funding and said that sponsorship was important to ensure the event was viable into the future.
‘‘We are grateful of the funding agreement and the important part is we’ve secured the $25,000 worth of in-kind sponsorship for the next three years — that covers a lot of things for us,’’ he said.
The council report said there was no reliable method of capturing the exact number of Southern-80-goers but it had been estimated at 50,000 in previous years with numbers having dropped to 40,000 in the past two years.
‘‘I tend to think 40,000 was the more accurate figure (for the years overall) and the 50,000 was more of a guesstimate,’’ Mr Shipp said.
‘‘I have been in the race for many years ... I don’t think we’ve been getting any smaller.’’
There’s been a fatal accident in 2016 and 2017 which the council report said ‘‘may have impacted
RACE FOR FUNDING: Campaspe Shire has come up with a three-year S80 sponsorship that starts in 2019 and is cut by $5000 in 2020 and $5000 more in 2021.