Four local community groups receive financial assistance from the Community Funding Budget

Eight local community groups recently applied for financial assistance from Moree Plains Shire Council at its meeting on Thursday, April 11, with only four selected to receive a share of the $10,000 in allocated funding.

The Moree Water Ski Club, Moree Gymnastics Club and the Moree Service Cycling and Triathlon Club will each receive $3,000 while Nanstars Aboriginal Grandmothers Wellbeing Group will receive $1,000.

The Water Ski Club's money will go towards the Australian National Water Ski Tournament they are hosting next week, which is expected to bring around 1,000 visitors to Moree. 

"This is about getting us on the table," Moree Water Ski Club president James von Drehnen said at the council meeting.

"It's about getting people here and getting our park where it needs to be.

"Every single dollar and more and heartache has gone into the park to develop it to where it is today."

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Mr von Drehnen said there has been a lot of work that has gone into the park with the aim of becoming the best water ski site in Australia. 

"This site is one of four or five sites in all of Australia that is able to host this sort of event (National Water Ski Tournament)," he said.

"In the next three or four years, it will unquestionably be the best site in Australia and a recreational site for the community."

The Moree Gymnastics Club will spend its funding to purchase competition standard uneven bars, which will allow the club to have suitable training facilities and be able to host future competitions.

The Moree Service Cycling and Triathlon Club's money will go towards two new bikes for newcomers who don't have their own, as well as new equipment such as shade tents, banners and uniforms so the club will be able to host more 'come and try' days to expand and grow its numbers.

The remaining $1,000 will go towards Nanstars to assist them in implementing their program enabling grandparents in the local community to enhance their knowledge and skills through regular meetings and activities.

Moree mayor Katrina Humphries and councillor Kerry Cassells spoke out about the importance of sport in the local communities, with the majority of council's funding going towards local sporting groups.

Moree on a Plate, Trigger Media Productions, Country Women's Association of NSW Weemalah Branch and Thiyama-Li Family Violence Service Indigenous Corporation were the groups that did not receive any funding. 

Moree on a Plate was bitterly disappointed to have been declined funding, considering the cost of holding the annual event and the current economic downturn.

"As one of the town's main tourist attractions and vehicles to promote and showcase our community, run entirely by volunteers for the past 15 years, it's hard not to take this snub personally," Moree on a Plate President Bethany Kelly said.

"We are delighted for the other groups who received funding, and realise there is not enough to cover everyone, but for MPSC to give us a zero allocation, in a year like this when they know our festival could be jeopardised, suggests how little value they place in a day the rest of the community applauds."

Moree on a Plate will now ask, in lieu of sponsorship, if councillors would instead donate two hours of their time volunteering at the festival as a sign of support.