Council feels squeeze as community groups ask for double

MORE than $180,000 in event grant money has been requested by 31 community event committees for the coming financial year but the Southern Downs Regional Council only has $150,000 to spare.

Deputy Mayor Ross Bartley said he was concerned by the amount of money some groups had asked for this year.

"We (the council) are partly to blame for being so generous all the time," Cr Bartley said.

"Generally most applications are double what they asked for last year.

"I'm concerned that they keep asking for more. One group's application increased by 300% over three years."

Last year the Allora Bush Christmas received $1635 in community event grants.

This year they have asked for $3750.

The Allora and District Historical Society, last year receiving $250, has asked for $959 to pay for advertisements, food, raffle books and fuel for their Display and Demonstration Day.

Cr Bartley said he understood the importance of community events and the role they played in the community, especially the Apple and Grape, Jumpers and Jazz in July and the Warwick Rodeo.

"The grant is about giving the group a leg-up," he said.

"It needs to be a broad community event, for everyone to attend."

Cr Bartley said one way to ensure everyone who applied for a grant received some money was to reduce each application by 25%.

"That would be the easy fix, but it is not really practical," he said.

The councillor also said it was difficult when different show societies asked for different amounts of money.

He said when one show society is approved for a large grant it is hard to refuse another show society which had also asked for a large amount.

Cr Bartley said he favoured the council giving in-kind support, such as water trucks and rubbish removal.

At last Wednesday's general meeting, councillors were to determine grant allocations but instead deferred the issue to June.

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