Councillor questions spend discrepancy

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
In passionate debate from Cr Sam Morris last week, the long-standing councillor questioned the amount the city was dishing out compared to other shires.
Camera IconIn passionate debate from Cr Sam Morris last week, the long-standing councillor questioned the amount the city was dishing out compared to other shires. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

A city councillor says Bunbury ratepayers are not getting bang for their buck as he criticised surrounding shires for their “minuscule” contribution to a tourism partnership.

In passionate debate from Cr Sam Morris during last week’s Bunbury City Council meeting, the long-standing councillor questioned the amount the city was dishing out compared to other shires.

Cr Morris was referring to the council’s $445,773 yearly contribution to Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre, along with its $165,000 to the Bunbury Geographe Tourism Partnership.

The contributions to the entertainment centre have sparked ongoing debate over several years with the council vocal in its desire for shires like Harvey, Dardanup and Capel to put in more cash.

But Cr Morris last week put the BunGeo tourism publication, Found magazine, in the firing line.

“This is our centrepiece of a tourism partnership that we have, the city council is putting in $165,000 to the other $42,000 by the other shires,” Cr Morris said.

Cr Morris referred to the pages in the latest issue of the magazine saying there were 10 pages relating to Bunbury and 34 to other shires.

“We’re paying $165,000, we’re getting 10 pages, they’re paying $42,000 and getting 34 pages,” he said.

“We’re talking about a true working partnership, this is not a partnership, the ratepayers are not getting value for money.”

Speaking to the Bunbury Herald, Mayor Gary Brennan ruled out there was any division brewing between the local shires.

“I have terrific relationships with neighbouring local governments and I meet periodically with the presidents ... I’m not aware of any concerns, there’s no hint of division, we’re all working to the same page pretty much,” Mr Brennan said.

“I’d like to see the surrounding local governments contribute more however that is their decision and their priorities have to be considered as well.

“The fact we’re getting support is really important and of course, we’d like to see more but again I respect that decision is theirs to make.”

The Capel, Dardanup and Harvey shire presidents each told the Herald last week they supported the tourism partnership and contributed what they could afford.

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