Moyne Shire funding for Port Fairy’s tennis court opening sparks debate

An opening for the new Port Fairy tennis courts was among events that recived Moyne Shire funding. Picture: Morgan Hancock
An opening for the new Port Fairy tennis courts was among events that recived Moyne Shire funding. Picture: Morgan Hancock

Port Fairy’s Winter Weekends festival and Purnim’s celebration of its 150th year as a town were among events that have been allocated more than $30,000 from Moyne Shire.

The funding comes as part of the second round of festival and event funding for 2017/2018.

An allocation of $1000 towards an official opening of the new Port Fairy tennis courts costing $8750 sparked heated discussion at last week’s council meeting, with Moyne Shire councillor Colin Ryan describing the total cost as “absurd”.

“The tennis courts cost just over $100,000, so that’s eight per cent of the cost of them they're going to spend on opening them,” he said.

“It doesn’t give them any better facilities, it's just a function. I don’t think we should waste our council money contributing that amount.”

Cr Ryan’s proposed amendment to scrap the funding was not supported, and Cr Jordan Lockett defended the decision, saying it was a “small contribution for a big celebration”.

“The club has well over 200 people playing,” he said. “I think it’s an excellent event.”

The opening is set to take place on January 6, 2018.

The Port Fairy Winter Weekends event, set over four weekends across winter and designed to boost tourism and provide community activities during the low season, received $9000.

The Port Fairy and Koroit cups received $6000, the Purnim milestone event got $8000 and the Mortlake Art Show $3550.

Other allocations included $2000 for the Koroit Sheepdog Trials and $864.40 for the Hawkesdale Australia Day and ANZAC breakfast.