Murray Bridge council watch: November 2023
Councillors question whether to fund a Maori Evangelical Church event; and hear the latest on Sunnyside Road, a Monarto South roundabout and more.
Councillors question whether to fund Maori Evangelical Church
When it comes to community grants, how much money is too much for one group?
That question gave Murray Bridge’s councillors pause on Monday night as they considered whether to grant $10,000 to the Maori Evangelical Church of SA for a 2024 Waitangi Day event.
The church organises a public celebration for New Zealand’s national day each year, featuring food and live music and usually attended by several hundred people.
But Councillor Clem Schubert objected to the fact that the church had already been granted $41,000 for various projects over the past three years.
Cr Tom Haig even questioned whether the council should be funding the church at all.
“I have a real problem … (with) the precedent we set when we give funds to a specific religious group when there are several within the community who could be presenting equally compelling cases for funding,” he said.
Cr Airlie Keen went in to bat for the Maori church, who she said did a lot to help low-income families in the district, and its “extremely active” leader, Dawn Matthews.
But councillors eventually voted to seek more information about the church’s reliance on council money before approving any grant.
$650k upgrade planned on Sunnyside Road
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