Groups eye share of budget

Mount Gambier City Council has agreed to increase its sponsorship to the Pioneers Basketball Club to $33,000 for the 2022-23 financial year.

Feedback on the Draft 2022-23 Annual Business Plan and Budget was considered by council at a special meeting last week, which included written and verbal submissions from the club.

The submission included a 14-page ‘Community Partner Proposal’ seeking a two-year investment from council at a commitment of $33,000 per financial year.

Council resolved to increase its sponsorship of $25,000 to $33,000.

However, the commitment was only reflective for the 2022-23 financial year.

It was noted the savings to fund the additional $8000 will be identified in council’s Budget Review 1.

Council formally considered feedback gathered during community consultation before adopting the final 2022/2023 Annual Business Plan and Budget and related strategic management plans.

The community consultation period closed on June 9.

In Home Hospice Care (IHHC) and Blue Lake Golf Club also provided written submissions and subsequently requested to present at the special meeting.

Verbal submission was also presented by representatives from the Limestone Coast Veteran Services.

IHHC chairperson Maureen Klintberg said demand for the service was growing and requested support from council.

“We would greatly appreciate council consider advocating on our behalf and provide financial assistance towards our organisation,” Ms Klintberg said.

“All monies received fund the management of client referrals, recruitment, training and supervision of volunteers and supportive programs.”

IHHC is a charitable organisation and has been dependent upon sourcing community donations whilst continuing to advocate to the government for recurrent funding.

Ms Klintberg said a substantial donation from a local business last year will enable the services to carry on through until July 2022.

However, she expressed disappointment in “no assurance of ongoing government funding”.

“Particularly when the outgoing Health and Wellbeing Minister Stephen Wade acknowledged our program as ‘being a success’,” Ms Klintberg said.

At the meeting council resolved to continue advocating on behalf of IHHC “for a more sustainable and equitable model of funding to enable this valuable service to be maintained.”

Council will also investigate options to support the organisation with options for office and training facilities.

Meanwhile, Blue Lake Golf Club secretary Stephen Smith has requested assistance to repair and reseal the existing carpark.

“The carpark surface, due to its age and increased usage, has now failed in a number of areas to the point where severe cracking and dislodgement of the surface is taking place,” Mr Smith said.

“The club currently does not have sufficient resources to undertake this major work of carpark repair and resealing.”

On behalf of the club, Mr Smith also requested council fund the “much needed” carpark extension.

“The club has outgrown the capacity of its current carpark, which was constructed circa 2000, it was designed and built to have 89 carparks,” he said.

“At the time of construction, it was designed for a potential membership of 120 members and patrons.

“Up until 2019 the club membership was at 172 and the carpark had reached its capacity,

“Since this time membership has increased exponentially, which has led to a number of members using either the nature strip on Grant Avenue, at the front of the club, or the grassed area east of the buggy shed.”

Meanwhile the club has been granted federal government funding to construct an 18-hole mini golf course.

“The construction of this course will place the current carpark under extreme stress due to the expected demand for car spaces,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith said it was envisaged a minimum of up to 20 carpark spaces will be required to support the new course, reducing the overall capacity.

“We request council to support increasing the capacity of the carpark by a minimum of 261 car spaces,” he said.

In addition to Mr Smith’s submission, club president Peter Sealey reported the club currently has over 450 members and is also home to four other local community groups and its members.

“This increased patronage has also led to serious issues of safety.

“Council would be aware Grant Avenue is an 80kph speed zone,” Mr Sealey said.

Mr Sealey noted costs exceeding $424,000 has been incurred by the club in the past three years.

These were itemised in his written submission.

“The club is willing to offer clearing of any trees and general clean up in readiness for the extension, should approval be given, if this would help keep costs down,” he said.

Council resolved to provide a report which considers the lease obligations in regard to the carpark along with clarity about the process required to gain additional land to extend the existing carpark.

Following a presentation from the Limestone Coast Veteran Services a report will be prepared for council to consider the possible costs associated with waiving or reducing costs for burials and cremations of veterans.

One individual written submission was also received through the ‘Have Your Say’ link on council’s website.

Comments made by the anonymous user were tabled in the special meeting agenda.

Council was commended on its “vision and leadership” to commit to and deliver the Wulanda Complex.

The response encouraged council to increase expenditure on the broader CBD “as a key means to grow the economy, tourism, retail and hospitality offered to locals.”

“I would like to see expenditure deliver on councils CBD Guiding Principles 2022 document,” the submission said.

Other aspects highlighted were the need for quality streetscaping, undertaking a detailed design project in the CBD, attracting economic development and tourism and increasing community pride.

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