I have a young family and I live on the Gold Coast. One of the things we absolutely love about living in this corner of the world is the local community.
No matter where you live on the Gold Coast, there are things to do. There are community events on every single weekend: community BBQs, family fun days, outdoor play adventures, open days, fun runs, fundraisers – you name it, and there’s a good chance it’s happening this weekend.
In the last couple of months we’ve attended a fantastic family fun day at the Robina Bowls Club, and a park event in Varsity Lakes that involved giving away plants (for free!); both events were sponsored by or run by the local city council.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
Our council does a fantastic job of supporting and enriching the community through all sorts of events and we’d all, as a collective, be poorer without out this.
Or at least they did.
I was utterly dismayed to read in the Gold Coast Bulletin yesterday, that the council is axing a number of jobs under the new budget – jobs that put the council in a position to directly assist grass roots community groups.
Getting rid of eight community development officer positions will save the council around $1m a year – but at what cost?
The funds are set to be redirected into each councillor’s ‘local areas works’ budget. In other words, the money will be absorbed without much of a tangible outcome to show for it.
However this loss is going to be greatly felt.
It means that dozens of community groups will no longer have access to the advice, support and direction of council staff when trying to get their community events off the ground.
Not to mention the fact that, according to a council worker, some of the people who will be made redundant have been with the council for more than 20 years, and have built up extensive community networks.
It’s understandable that tough decisions have to be made when setting the budget. Let’s just hope this one doesn’t come back to bite the Gold Coast on the behind – as the loss of the council’s community development program is likely to be felt by all of us.