Item 9.COMMUNITY GRANTS

Magee moved to accept ‘as printed’. Hyams seconded.

MAGEE: said this was the ‘most gratifying part’ of being part of a council in handing out money to community groups who ‘provide services to our community’. Went through the report on numbers of applications and how many from non profit groups. Said that the committee included himself, Esakoff and Sounness. Community groups are largely volunteers and they work to ‘give a community benefit’. Some groups missed out because they didn’t fit in with the guidelines which council publishes and these are ‘extensive’.

HYAMS: called this a ‘good process’ and it helps the community and ‘everyone benefits’. There are still other applications to consider.

OKOTEL: is ‘happy and pleased’ that there is this program because it’s ‘important for our community’ in supporting groups. What she was unhappy about was the ‘final submissions’ on which clubs received the grants. Said that the process involves ‘assessment against community grants guidelines’ and this ‘is done in a very thorough way’ by the grants committee. This takes a day to go through them all and ‘I would certainly endorse the recommendations of the committee’. But she sees ‘a stretching of those guidelines to accommodate’ other applications and that ‘this goes one step too far’. Further, ‘if council were to act properly’ then they should amend the guidelines ‘to be more accommodating rather than stretching’ in her opinion, the guidelines to give grants to those groups that ‘weren’t recommended’ by the committee. She supports the recommendations of the committee but ‘what we see before us is a step too far’ beyond the guidelines.

PILLING: said that the ‘process’ had improved over the years and that the quality of applications had also improved. Said that ‘overwhelmingly’ the majority of the committee’s recommendations were ‘adopted’. Admitted that a ‘few’ had changed amounts but ‘that was a very small number’ and he was ‘confident that the process’ is good and that all applicants are aware of the guidelines. Purpose of the guidelines is to give residents the ‘confidence that we’re spending their money wisely’.

DELAHUNTY: thanked the committee for their work and appreciated that it was ‘very very difficult’ for decisions when there are so many ‘good causes’. Thought that ‘the process is robust’ and councillors have a big responsibility and also to ‘ensure’ that they follow the guidelines. Said she was ‘undecided’ on some and that they had to ‘get more information on’ like the one on making a ‘short video’ and the Jewish GLBT (IE gay, lesbian,bisexual, transgender) and ‘this will be a great project, one we haven’t seen before’. Sporting clubs ‘hang out for our decisions’.

LOBO: ‘any grant is always welcome’. Said that grants are ‘motivation’ for clubs and this is also apparent in the ‘community service awards’. One thing that ‘intrigued’ him was the clubs who said they were ‘running multi-cultural’ events and ‘I would like to have seen what kind of multi-cultural activities they perform’ plus whether ‘multi-cultural people can also join that club’.

MAGEE: endorsed all recommendations and everything is assessed against guidelines. Committee is important because they can delve and question and decide ‘what is the greatest community benefit’. and ‘sometimes the amounts can change slightly to what the officers recommend’. Thanked Jones and the officers for ‘putting this together’ and ‘it is an awesome amount of work’ that they put in and then bring it ‘to the assembly’. Also, there is often the need for ‘clarification’ from the applicants and this sometimes ‘comes from the committee and sometimes from Mr Jones’. Magee endorses ‘all of the’ grants and even when there is the wish to give a grant he can’t ‘because there is only so much money to give out’. Those groups that ‘miss out’ did so because their application wasn’t ‘worded properly’ or ‘explained’ things properly. Said there are some new things in the grants – Jewish Comedy Festival and he’s ‘looking forward to this’ and hopes it really ‘gets off the ground’.

MOTIONS PUT AND CARRIED. OKOTEL VOTED AGAINST

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Item 9.12 – Strategic Resource Plan

Hyams moved to accept as printed. Pilling seconded.

HYAMS: said that this was simply to ‘adjust some of the figures’ but that they are still ‘good figures’. Main one was ‘liquidity’ and ‘at first glance is not the greatest’ but the ‘reason we adjusted’ is that once you look at the ‘seasonally adjusted for aged care’ it is ‘very sustainable’. Stated that the adjustment was because ‘without that’ there would be the assumption that the aged care bonds would have to be ‘repaid all at once – and that’s never going to happen’. So now the ‘assumption is that only a small percentage’ will be paid out at a time. Claimed that the adjustments therefore equal ‘the real world’ and the previous figures were more ‘accounting fiction’. Council had to change because the Local Government requirements has changed and council had already sent their plan off to the minister. So there was the need ‘to change and bring into line with those assumptions’. Admitted that ‘there were also some mistakes that were made’ but these ‘have been corrected now’.

DELAHUNTY: said that the officer’s report mentioned two reasons for the adjustments – ‘formulaic inconsistencies’ and ‘definitions’. Said these errors should have ‘been picked up’ and that the ‘biggest one’ is the ‘last line’. Said that council ‘always’ knew about the ‘new definitions’ for the aged care bonds. This was ‘adjusted in our minds’ only. Said that she’s got ‘issues’ with the performance indicators as a system and acknowledged the time of council officers to ‘work out the definitions’. The report is ‘obviously sound’ but ‘subject’ to the need to be a ‘bit more careful’.

OKOTEL: said that they’ve ‘identified areas’ where the indicators ‘could be improved’ so that ‘what we’re reporting against is meaningful’.

MOTION PUT AND CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

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