Obligation fulfilled

THERE has been much discussion regarding public art in the Town of Victoria Park and I would like to respond.

The Town allocates funds each year into its reserves; the Community Art Reserve is one of them.

For many years, council debated public art. It was a case of ‘paralysis by analysis’ and a decision could not be agreed upon, resulting in no public art installed throughout the town.

Council identified this issue and rectified it by supporting a motion stipulating the budget and position of the public art and allowing the Arts Working Group to choose the art pieces.

For the first time in many years, 10 pieces of public art were placed in the town. The council invited the community to several ‘cafe conversations’ allowing people the opportunity to let the council know their ideas on art, culture, local history, clubs and activity projects.

Public art was a hot topic and we received very positive feedback.

Council has a responsibility to honour the funds it has transferred to the Community Art Reserve for its original purpose ” public artwork.

Any diversion of spending would jeopardise the integrity of why the reserve fund was originally established.

I can understand that a portion of the community may prefer the funds to be reallocated. However, there would be many disappointed if we were to transfer the funds into a reserve on a promise of increasing public art.

As elected members, we endeavour to listen and respond to the community. As such in the 2013-2014 budget after assessing the present reserves, we decided to reduce the amount allocated to the art reserve and reallocate a portion of those funds.

As a council, we are still fulfilling our obligation to the community who desire more public art in the Town and our obligation to keep other reserves lucrative.

Claire Anderson,

Deputy Mayor Town of Victoria Park