Sport groups join forces

COOPERATION: Gloria Chesson, Pat Jenner, Grantley Siviour and Sarah Meyer look over quotes for the bulk drought funding proposal.
COOPERATION: Gloria Chesson, Pat Jenner, Grantley Siviour and Sarah Meyer look over quotes for the bulk drought funding proposal.

Around 20 representatives from sporting groups across the Cleve district met on Monday night to finalise a group proposal to access part of the $1-million federal drought funding for the district.

Around 10 groups from Cleve, Arno Bay, Mangalo, Rudall and Darke Peak have combined their project wish list into a single submission to be discussed at the Cleve District Council meeting next week.

With a minimum spend per project of $25,000, the group hope smaller projects will be successful when combined across the district with a focus on hiring local labour.

Monday’s meeting was the second of its kind, with a brainstorming session taking place last month.

Most groups have since obtained quotes from local contractors, with the approximate sum of all proposed projects now up to around $750,000.

Some local contractors have talked about hiring additional staff temporarily to manage the workload the projects would bring.

Nearly $100,000 would be spent on basic upgrades to sporting facilities across the district, including new cricket nets, pitches and tennis backdrops.

The group is expecting to hire local workers for around $45 an hour to complete as much of the work as possible.

Installing soft fall surfacing for playgrounds around the district has also been floated as a possibility, but there are concerns it will be too expensive.

Other more ambitious projects include a new gym at Cleve, a shed for the Arno Bay Dirt Circuit Club and an individual push from the Cleve Bowling Club for a new shade.

The council is under time pressure to decide which projects to apply for, with the project completion deadline on June 30.

The amalgamated sports group will send representatives to the meeting, which will also be attended by other community groups looking to apply for standalone projects.

There has been support for the group from councillors, with Bryan Trigg, Greg Cook and Robert Quinn in attendance for Monday’s meeting.

However with at least $700,000 in possible projects already suggested by the council, the councillors warned the group it was unlikely all projects would be accepted.

The council is not allowed to apply for more than $1 million in projects unless a project is knocked back, which could take up to four weeks.

Each club has been encouraged to prioritise their projects should the proposal need to be reduced, in the hope every club will be represented in the final submission.

The group proposal will be in the council agenda ahead of next week’s meeting.