Elizabeth Quay venue proves costly for NAIDOC organisers as City of Perth reduces funding

Phil Walleystack, one of the this year's nominees.
Phil Walleystack, one of the this year's nominees.

PERTH Council rejected a proposal to give $20,000 to the organisers of a NAIDOC event in Perth this year, on the same night it boosted Fashion Festival funding by $25,000 up to $255,000.

The recommendation before the council from the City’s Sponsorship Committee was to give $8714 for the NAIDOC event.

Cr Reece Harley noted that this was because of a policy to only provide 10 per cent of the cost for events held on Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority land, and that the council had the discretion to grant $20,000 instead.

Cr Harley said NAIDOC was being penalised almost $12,300 because it was holding the event at Elizabeth Quay.

“We should be encouraging people to use Elizabeth Quay… it’s not morally right to discriminate because it’s on MRA land… we’ve given $30,000 to this event before,” he said.

Cr Harley moved an amended motion to grant NAIDOC $20,000 in sponsorship funding.

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said NAIDOC could seek funding from the MRA, and Cr Jim Adamos asked if the item could be referred back to the committee until it was determined what funding NAIDOC had secured from other sources.

Cr Harley pointed out that the event was starting on July 2, and as such there was no time for a referral back.

Councillors Lily Chen and Jemma Green spoke in favour of the $20,000 in funding.

Councillors Judy McEvoy, Janet Davidson, and Keith Yong joined Ms Scaffidi in voting against the funding, with the Lord Mayor’s casting vote breaking the deadlock.

Apart from the Lord Mayor’s suggestion of potential “double-dipping” on sponsorship, no member gave a reason for voting against the funding boost.

Cr Harley then moved the motion to give $8714 to NAIDOC, saying he was “extremely disappointed” the $20,000 proposal was rejected.

He urged councillors to attend NAIDOC events and ask the organisers about the impact of the funding decision.

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