Issues with grant money the reason for no roadshow event
IT IS designed to address the mental health and well-being needs of those affected by the recent floods, but the Southern Downs Regional Council voted against hosting the It'll be Alright in the Long Run roadshow event during yesterday's general meeting.
With the event qualifying to be funded by money from the Flexible Funding grant, given to the council by the state government after the 2011 floods, the $16,000 needed to host the event would not have even come out of the council's wallet.
This money, as highlighted during the meeting by the councillors and directors, can only be used for certain projects and must be spent by July 31 this year.
Deputy Mayor Ross Bartley said he had several issues with spending the grant money on this event.
"Given the plight the farmers are going though I don't think this is where the money should be spent," he said.
"They will look at it and view it as a complete waste of money.
"I know there are narrow criteria on how we can spend these funds but this to me is a blatant waste of tax payer's money.
"It will not be reaching the people who have been affected by the 2013 flood.
"It will not paint us in a good light and I cannot support this."
Mayor Peter Blundell agreed that what the funding could be spent on was concise.
"It is arguable that this event would benefit the community," he said.
"It might raise spirits and lift the sentiment of the community but how long that will last is debatable.
"But if we decide we don't want to go ahead with it my concern is we will be unable to channel the money to areas that will do more good."
Cr Denise Ingram attended the forum held for flood affected Warwick East residents last week.
She said she was concerned for the community but did not see how the roadshow event would help.
"I know there will be health information available but it is really just a fun day for people and I am not convinced we will get the outcome we want."
Director of engineering services and local disaster management group coordinator Peter See said he felt the event was a good idea.
"There were a lot of angry people (at the forum)," he said.
"It was their first opportunity to talk to people about what they went through.
"The concert gives them a chance to talk to others in the same circumstances.
"The whole process has been designed by the state government and used by councils all over Queensland.
"Ultimately the process is designed by health professionals to help people get over these issues.
"People from East Warwick last week were certainly struggling and I recommended the council do this."
However councillors were convinced the affected people would not attended the event and they would not appreciate the money being spent on a concert with a jumping castle.