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Councillors choose to suspend $1 million ward discretionary fund


At the Georges River Council Extraordinary Council Meeting held on Monday 20 April, Councillors voted to suspend the $1 million Councillor Ward Discretionary Fund. 

Councillor Warren Tegg raised the motion to suspend the fund, following the deferral of the rates harmonisation, minimum rate harmonisation and Special Rate Variation application which has left Council looking at a financial deficit. 

Councillor Tegg said that Council cannot afford to proceed with the annual allocation of $1 million for the Ward Fund in the draft 2020/21 budget. 

“I recognise that many families and businesses are struggling right now and so Council must find new ways to support our community. 

“While Council’s financial position means we cannot proceed with the Ward Fund in 2020/21, I will work to ensure that Council continues to support local community groups that provide the support services many families need in these challenging times,” added Councillor Tegg. 

The fund previously enabled Councillors to provide minor financial support to individuals and community groups, and provision of minor capital works within each ward. 

Mayor Kevin Greene said that the current COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated Council’s funding issues, with a significant decrease in revenue from childcare centres and its premium facilities. 

“We don’t know how long Council’s revenue will be negatively impacted, so it’s appropriate that we implement measures to ensure our essential services to the wider community remain unaffected, and unfortunately some projects or initiatives will have to wait.” 

“We are all looking forward to brighter days and as a Council we will work together to achieve what’s necessary to support our community,” added Mayor Greene.

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