31 December 2023

Funding dispute resolved as sculpture event plans for bigger and better 2024

| Claire Sams
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Funding for the 2024 running of an annual sculpture event came before Eurobodalla Shire Council twice in December before being approved. Photo: Sculpture for Clyde Facebook.

A South Coast council has voted to fund an annual arts event for the second time after discussion spread across three separate meetings.

Sculpture for Clyde comprises outdoor, indoor and student sculpture exhibitions, as well as various prize categories, with part of its funding coming from Eurobodalla Shire Council.

In its 21 November meeting, Eurobodalla Shire Council initially voted to commit $20,000 in funding for Sculpture for Clyde’s 2024 event, and venue hire fees were waived.

Following the November meeting, Councillors Rob Pollock, Peter Diskon and Alison Worthington together moved a Notice of Rescission that called on council to pull this support, which was discussed in an extraordinary meeting earlier this month (5 December).

The agenda for a 19 December meeting recommended the funding and waived venue hire fees go ahead, but “procedural irregularities” meant the original motion had to be voted on again.

“It is considered that this procedural error under Local Government Act Section 369 (2) rendered the council resolution defective,” according to the agenda.

Sculpture for Clyde director David Maclachlan said he was glad the issue had been resolved, with council voting to approve the funding.

“Lately, it’s been difficult because we were meant to go out to sponsors at the opening of Weed [the 2023 winner of the Acquisitive Prize] at the Sculpture Walk,” he said.

“We couldn’t because of questions about funding, so that slowed that process down – that’s for sure.”

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Despite the funding concerns, Mr Maclachlan said he and the other volunteers had kept working to prepare for 2024 event.

This had included narrowing the entries to the Acquisitive Prize into a shortlist, after they closed on 30 November.

“As part of that process, we’re not just looking at the aesthetic value of the piece,” he said.

“It’s got to be playground policy and be robust enough to be situated on the Batemans Bay Sculpture Walk, which is not very far from the sea.”

Mr Maclachlan said entries can still be made for other categories.

“Entries for other categories don’t close until next year, so we’re expecting more entries,” he said.

“Since we’ve moved back to the foreshore, we know that we can increase the number of indoor sculptures we accept.”

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Mr Maclachlan said Sculpture for Clyde has a distinct spot on the Eurobodalla arts calendar.

“The council data clearly shows that it’s the largest event – as far as numbers and bringing people from outside the area – so it’s got quite an important place in the shire,” he said.

“Other events have an important place as well, and this event just needs to be recognised as one of those events that sort of create a colourful tapestry of community life.”

Eurobodalla Shire Councillors Tanya Dannock, Peter Diskon, David Grace, Tubby Harrison, Amber Schutz and Anthony Mayne supported the re-put motion, while Councillors Alison Worthington and Rob Pollock voted against it and Mayor Hatcher withdrew.

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