Flower show funding lopped off

Photo: Fairfax Media

By Ewen McRae

Moorabool council has backtracked on a grant approval for the Bacchus Marsh Flower and Garden show following a rescission motion at last week’s meeting.

Council approved a $3000 grant for the event at its July meeting as part of its community grants program. The flower and garden show was the only application to receive funding that failed to meet council criteria for approval.

Cr Jarrod Bingham successfully argued in July that the event deserved funding and would deliver “a return on investment to expand an important event that will help the region”.

A the time, the council was told the flower and garden show grant application was assessed by council officers and scored 64.93 per cent, with 70 per cent being the threshold for approval by the council.

Cr Tom Sullivan argued in July that picking just one of the eight unsuccessful applications for approval was not how council should be seen to conduct business.

“Council put in place a process for the assessment of these community grants,” he said.

“This group missed the mark by a whole five points – not a smidgen, a fairly substantial amount below the threshold.”

Mayor Paul Tatchell moved a rescission motion at last week’s meeting to revert to the original officer recommendation, with only those applications that met the council threshold receiving funding.

“The amended resolution carried out at the ordinary meeting of council on July 3 is in breach of the council’s community grants policy,” Cr Tatchell said.

“There are obvious repercussions for this.”

The rescission motion was passed with no objections.

The council approved 18 of 26 applications for funding in the grants program, totalling $175,000 in funding for a range of local projects and events.