Grants reduced to fund Community Events Officer

Freedom of the City

Do we need more events like this?

What will Redland City’s new Community Events Officer really do? Help the community or arrange lots of photo opportunities for a publicity hungry Mayor.

At the Redland City Council meeting on Wednesday it was decided to recruit a Community Events Officer at an estimated cost of $100,000 per year.

The new position will be funded by Council reallocating funds previously earmarked for community grants. Councillors were told that the new position would:

Attract, promote and coordinate community events to drive economic development in the Redlands through development and implementation of an event strategy for events such as: conferences, sporting events, cultural events, festivals and other community group uses of public space.

Council currently budgets to spend $1,010,000 per year on a range of community grant schemes but apparently is unable to give all of this money away. It was decided to reallocate $100,000 or about 10% of this budget provision to cover the cost of employing the Community Events Officer. Details of the various grants schemes and changes to their budgets are set out below:

Before After Change  % Change
Counciilor Small Grants $250,000
Capital Infrastructure Grants $220,000 $187,000 -$33,000  – 15%
Project Support Grants $160,000 $136,000 -$24,000  – 15%
Sponsorship $126,000
Conservation Grants $100,000 $65,000 -$35,000  – 15%
Regional Arts Development Fund $100,000
Organisational Support Grants $54,000 $46,000 -$8,000 – 15%
Community Events Officer 0 $100,000 $100,000 new item
Total Community Grants Budget $1,010,000 $1,010,000

Councillor Ogilvie raised concerns that the new position was an unaffordable luxury given Redland City has just adopted a budget with an $11.2 million operational deficit. His motion to defer filling the budget until after the Council completes a “back to basics” review of spending aimed at putting the City on a sustainable financial path was lost. Councillors Hardman, Hewlett, Beard, Talty, Edwards and Williams then proceeded to vote for filling the position by reducing community grant funding as shown above.

Redland City holds many events

Redland City holds many events

Council already has a comprehensive guide for planning events in Redland City.

This piece of business illustrates some serious deficiencies in the way that the Council is administered under Mayor Williams. There is a significant budget deficit but no serious attempt to trim the Council’s expenditure.

Councillors were told that because the Council’s processes for allocating grants were difficult to follow, inevitably some of the budgeted funds would not be spent. This admission should have resulted in Councillors resolving to either:

  • Spend less on grants in order to reduce the City’s large operational deficit; or
  • Improve Council’s processes for administering its grants programs
This poll is closed! Poll activity:
Start date 25-08-2014 17:14:18
End date 10-09-2014 15:30:00
Poll Results:

Earlier this year most people in the Redlands were bemused by a stream of Council publicity about some men in uniform being granted freedom of the city. There was no obvious reason for this event other than the Mayor’s insatiable appetite for photo opportunities. It seems likely that the new Community Events Officer will, at ratepayers expense,  be arranging many more pointless photo opportunities for the Mayor.


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3 thoughts on “Grants reduced to fund Community Events Officer

  1. Interesting decision, recently the Mayor and Councillors discontinued the Over 90’s Lunch which was a wonderful event that acknowledged our Gems, people who are over 90 years old. Many of these people have lived in Redlands all their lives and lived for this yearly lunch, they loved getting together and meeting old friends a very small price to pay to bring happiness to many older people.
    The Koala Fun which has also been cancelled, which in the past was run by Council, another wonderful event that many residents got involved with and helped raise money for local groups.
    Now we have $100,000 to pay an Events Coordinator, the money was taken from the community grants program, as per Council documents this is what the explanation is:-
    “promote and coordinate community events to drive economic development in the Redlands through development and implementation of an event strategy for events such as: conferences, sporting events, cultural events, festivals and other community group uses of public space”.
    Interesting words……Drive Economic Development , and for those not in the know but who have received free advise from Councils Business Grow Consultant Melanie, her contract will not be renewed after next week. There will be noone in the city to assist start up businesses, or businesses wanting to expand who may need a helping hand. Many businesses who received advise over many years will be disappointed as Melanie was a wealth of information and her services will be sadly missed.

  2. The freedom of the city is an important event for the family,friends and hard working staff that spend time developing qualities of working together with a strong code of ethics that the young men and women of the local cadets in the Army Navy and Air force give by up more than just spare time to be part of this proud organisation.
    The freedom of the city is our recognition of their good work in our community and this event should never be seen or indeed promoted as an event for local or state government enhancement.

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