Blue Lake Golf Club and East Gambier Sportsmens Club will be allocated funds from Mount Gambier City Council after councillors voted in favour of their proposals at a special members meeting. A total of up to $75,000 will be allocated to East Gambier Sportsmens Club for toilet demolition at McDonald Park and replacement materials in the 2021/22 financial year, with acquittal conditions matching council’s 2021/22 Sport and Recreation Capital Works Program.
It comes after an original committee report recommended a provisional budget allocation of $150,000. Meanwhile, Blue Lake Golf Club will receive $25,000 towards structural repairs to Blue Lake Golf Club’s Greenkeepers Shed.
Council also voted to confirm the in-kind provision of crushed sub-base to the Blue Lake Golf Club for its driving range car park. Councillor Paul Jenner moved the report, with Cr Max Bruins seconding in what amounts to the end to a communication debacle between Blue Lake Golf Club and council after the club started work assuming it would receive funding without council confirmation.
In June, after a presentation by Blue Lake Golf Club secretary Steven Smith on why it should be allocated funding, Cr Jenner said council should bear in mind a very senior officer had told the club they would be given $50,000 in funding at a prior time. Moreover, Cr Frank Morello, at the time of the presentation, asked why the club had started work without written approval, to which he did not receive a response.
Council chief executive Sarah Philpott said no current officers were aware and no written record had been located. The chief executive confirmed in late June the assumed funding had not been paid to the club, with the request for funding then presented to council for formal consideration.
However, in a report on the proposal for funding published on June 15, council governance and property manager Michael McCarthy said it had “become apparent” council’s 2020/21 budget position had been misrepresented verbally to the club. An invoice was subsequently received by council after the original request, when it then informed the club it had not been budgeted $50,000 in funding.