City of Karratha changes community grants after review

Alicia PereraPilbara News
The grassed area outside the Quarter.
Camera IconThe grassed area outside the Quarter. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr

A review of community grants in the City of Karratha has seen total funding available for 2019-20 trimmed by $155,000 and two long-running schemes merged into one.

At a council meeting last month, councillors voted to reduce the annual funding pool from $830,000 to $675,000 and combine the Annual Community Association Development Scheme and annual community grant scheme into a single “bi-annual community grant scheme”, while maintaining the quarterly grant scheme as separate.

Under an amendment put forward by Crs Georgia Evans and Kelly Nunn, councillors also approved a condition requiring that $50,000 of the merged grant scheme money be quarantined for community projects in each outlying town in the district each year.

The decision came after Dampier Community Association president Gill Furlong aired concerns that the cessation of the ACADS would prevent community associations from securing sufficient annual funding and force them to compete against larger, “semi-professional” organisations.

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City Mayor Peter Long said the changes were aimed at streamlining community project funding by the City, which was one of the most generous in regional WA per capita.

“The structure of the City’s grant schemes has remained largely unchanged for many years,” he said. “In recent years, schemes have been hugely oversubscribed and others under-allocated.”

“The review found that while the City’s grants schemes are undoubtedly important ... they could be better structured.”

Cr Long said combining two grant schemes into one, as recommended in the review, would provide “greater consistency, value for money for council and improved outcomes for the community”.

The bi-annual community grant scheme will offer total funds of $280,000 per round, or $560,000 per year.

The City’s grant scheme has been largely unchanged since its introduction in 1986.

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