Vick­ers could not save all fund­ing for South­ern 80

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS - By Tyla Har­ring­ton

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.

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