Regional development funding challenged

A South East Mayor wants his council to scrap its annual $20,000 funding allocation to Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast.

According to Wattle Range Mayor Des Noll, his council is not getting its money’s worth from the peak regional economic development body and the funds could be better spent.

His motion to withdraw from RDALC funding will be considered tonight when council holds its monthly meeting in Millicent.

Mayor Noll said the seven councils which make up the Limestone Coast Regional Development Association will pay a total of $93,000 to the RDALC in this financial year.

“Recently at the LCLGA Board meeting, a proactive discussion was held in relation to this matter,” Mayor Noll said.

“Primarily, the discussion has been about getting value for money for the service that is perceived to be provided by the RDALC back to respective council customers.

“Currently we are being advised that this funding is being used for small business assistance and development.

“Whilst there may be some small business assistance being delivered (350 referrals per annum) it is very difficult to measure the effectiveness of the assistance or whether any tangible outcomes are being achieved.

“At over $250 per referral, the value proposition is questionable.

“My belief is that our ratepayers are not getting value for money.

“Wattle Range Council elected members can better utilise this funding of $19,781 within our own financial budget.”

Mayor Noll said local business support within the Wattle Range Council area may be an option.

“No other services received by the Wattle Range Council, through the LCLGA will be affected by withdrawing the $19,781,” he said.

“Future funding to the LCRDA should be negotiated between individual Limestone Coast councils and the RDALC.

“If this motion is passed, it would commence at the next round of funding to the LCRDA in 2022/23 through the LCLGA.”

RDALC board chairman Evan Flint has been approached for comment.

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