Moorabool council has approved more than $175,000 in community grants, but one event was approved even though it failed to meet the council’s own criteria.

Council received 26 applications for its grants program in March, ranging from local events to building improvements.

Each application was assessed by council officers and needed to score above 70 per cent on the criteria to be approved, with 18 proposals meeting that level.

Cr Jarrod Bingham successfully argued an amendment to the motion to include a $3000 grant to support the Bacchus Marsh Flower and Garden show, which scored 64.93 per cent.

“The flower and garden show has been ongoing for a number of years now, with the primary purpose of fundraising towards an indoor swimming pool,”
Cr Bingham said. “I see this as a return on investment to expand an important event that will help the region.”

Cr Tom Sullivan argued that picking just one of the eight unsuccessful applications for approval was not how council should be seen to conduct business.

“Council put in place a process for the assessment of these community grants,” he said.

“This group missed the mark by a whole five points – not a smidgen, a fairly substantial amount below the threshold.”

The motion passed three votes to two.