A REDUCED grant has been approved for the Kingston Residents Association after councillors postponed a decision on whether to hand over $200 of ratepayers’ money to the community group.
Some councillors at May’s public council meeting expressed concerns about Quick Response Grant funds being given to a residents group that may oppose council decisions (‘Grant response not so quick’, The News 11/5/16).
The KRA had initially applied for a $2000 grant to print and mail out its newsletters but council officers recommended the grant should be reduced to $200.
At the subsequent council meeting councillors unanimously backed the grant bundled in with a notice of motion to also give grants to Griefline Family and Community Services ($500), St Andrews Calisthenics ($500) and Aspect Autism Spectrum Australia ($500) but Cr Paul Peulich again expressed reservations about the KRA grant.
“It’s OK to go against council decisions but in this case it’s clear for local political purposes,” Cr Peulich said.
“It’s more of an activist organisation due to its membership … it should not rely on ratepayers’ funds.”
In 2013 the KRA became embroiled in a legal stoush between Cr David Eden and former Mordialloc Liberal MP Lorraine Wreford.
Ms Wreford claimed in Parliament that the KRA is a Labor Party front “propped up” by ratepayers’ funds.
She apologised to Cr Eden after he began defamation proceedings over comments made about his donation of $1500 to the KRA from the since axed councillor discretionary ward funds program.
The legal proceedings were halted after the apology.