The funding of the Augusta Markets may be set for change.
The Augusta Markets have been hosted by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Far North with the assistance of Port Augusta City Council, Business Port Augusta and local businesses.
However council hasn’t yet agreed to funding the RDA Far North for the 2016/17 budget, annually worth $72,500.
A Special Council Meeting was held on October 14, and Council has recommended Business Port Augusta (BPA) take over management of the markets.
It reported BPA were willing to do this within the $30,000 funding allocation already provided to them by Council as part of its 2016/2017 Budget.
The November Augusta Markets is one of two markets held during the year and attract about 5000 people.
However after strong debate the Council passed a formal motion to ‘support Regional Development Australia Far North facilitating the November/December 2016 Augusta Markets’.
Council CEO John Banks was questioned before the passing of the motion by Councillor Phillip Brown about why the issue of funding for RDA Far North for 2016/17 hadn’t been resolved.
Mr Banks defended his handling of the matter and denied ‘playing games’ and said he can’t find value in the RDA Far North’s Key Performance Indicators – managing the two Augusta Markets.
RDA Far North Chair Jen Cleary said the markets are ‘very important’ and the RDA would be very keen as an organisation to make sure they continue, along with other key RDA Far North initiatives.
Reports indicate the RDA met with Council management yesterday to make an agreement.