Despite public outrage over Council’s $50,000 ‘Disco Dong’, an overhaul of Council’s cultural and arts policy was pushed back at last week’s Council meeting, again, despite efforts by Cr Jan Hackett (Labor).
Greens mayor Simon Richardson took umbrage at her motion, which noted there were ‘no direction priorities in place for spending in the cultural domain.’
Cr Hackett’s motion also recognised that ‘current spending in the cultural domain is being delivered without community sanction and, in many cases, benefit’.
The mayor was visibly annoyed and lectured Cr Hackett over criticising Council.
He called the motion ‘inflammatory and inaccurate,’ and told Cr Hackett, ‘It’s a shame you decided to smack into Council because you couldn’t get your way. You can’t say “give us the money”.
I spent a lot of time going through budget to find $100,000 [for an arts policy co-ordinator]. I’m trying to create a win.’
It later emerged that Council’s art policy is outdated and only deals with Aboriginal art. Drafting a new policy has been put back because it’s not seen as core business, Cr Hackett said.
Cr Hackett added, ‘It upsets me that we get no bang for our buck with our spending; instead we get criticism and derision… the contract for the Bayshore Drive sculpture was full of holes…’ Eventually councillors voted for the funding to be sourced at a later stage.
Meanwhile, a new petition up on change.org (bit.ly/2FLaVJD) is calling for the removal of the Disco Dong sculpture, located on Bayshore Drive roundabout.
The last online petition calling for its removal in December attracted nearly 2,900 signatures.