Council support for community groups

Following on from a motion put forward at the Moira Shire October ordinary council meeting, council supported all sports clubs and community groups by encouraging them to apply for funding via the community recovery grants, quick response grants, or community strengthening grants.

If more funds are required to assist these groups, this will be considered by council at the March quarterly budget review and they will investigate holding a series of volunteer recognition events and offer additional volunteer development opportunities.

At the October council meeting Cr Mansfield moved the following: “To call for a council report to grant football/netball clubs and the soccer club funds in appreciation of their efforts over the past two seasons in providing an outlet for the youth of the shire during this COVID 19 Pandemic and to thank the many volunteers who have strived to keep their clubs functioning”.

With the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic being profound on the whole of community functioning and the additional impact of border closures on the Moira Shire community activity has been an additional impost, it has taken considerable effort on behalf of volunteers in all manner of community activity and fundraising groups to maintain equilibrium throughout the pandemic.

To date council has provided COVID-19 relief to 14 football/netball clubs located within the shire, through the waiver of 2021 user fees totalling $45,000 however in spite of the global nature of the pandemic, not all sporting and non-sporting clubs are equally impacted and the shire is also home to 31 other sporting clubs and many other non-sporting service and recreational clubs and businesses which are volunteer run and/or service youth or other vulnerable groups.

“This follows on from a motion put forward previously. The idea to look after sporting and community groups who have been doing it tough over the last 18 months with no opportunity to raise money to run their organisations,” Cr Peter Mansfield said.

“This is an opportunity for us to consider groups to assist them in maintaining their viability and giving them the opportunity of getting some money from us.

“A lot of the volunteers of these groups are at the end of their tether so we can hopefully assist some of these people.”

Cr Peter Elliott followed this sentiment adding: “Our volunteers are the fabric of these groups and with this support will hopefully encourage them to keep up the great work they do.

“It’s pleasing to note council has provided some relief to a number of groups who have been vulnerable to the covid-19 pandemic.”

Recently elected Moira Shire councillor Judy Heather pointed out that it was not only sporting groups who had suffered and reiterated that all community groups could apply.

“I would also like to endorse Cr Mansfield’s words but just want to make sure and have been assured all groups are able to apply for this,” Cr Heather said.

“There are small groups including table tennis and other sporting activities like that who have had some fees waived or reduced but I just want to acknowledge groups like the show committees who have also done it tough as they have ongoing costs and haven’t been able to hold an event for some time so we must support them as well as not everybody is into sport so I hope we can support them too”

Cr Julie Brooks also agreed with Cr Heather adding: “I acknowledge in country towns sporting organisations are often the beating heart of local communities but I also wanted to make the point that many, many people suffered throughout covid.

“A lot of people lost their livelihoods and jobs, children couldn’t attend school and there are many people in our community who are isolated, particularly people who live with a disability or the aged and frail people and they suffered even more than normal so I think as a council we keep all groups front and centre.”