The Central Goldfields Shire Council has endorsed an updated version of its draft Property Occupancy Policy which sparked community concern earlier this year.
At the time of the first draft’s endorsement in May, a majority of the approximate 100 council owned buildings occupied by community groups had no formal, written agreement.
While the draft policy had intended to provide security of tenure and clearly outline the responsibilities of user groups it sparked concern, as it proposed charging groups per annum to occupy or operate in council owned buildings.
It was proposed category B groups, like senior citizen clubs, would be charged $1250 each year and pay rates to continue operating in council owned locations, however version two of the draft has amended this following community concerns.
Senior citizen clubs are now included in category A, which covers all not-for-profit groups that benefit the inclusion, wellbeing and engagement of the community. These groups will be charged $104 per year, with no rates.
Fees for category B groups have been slashed from $1250 to $520 and now encompasses groups which provide core services but have an element of commercial/business operations.
The updated draft comes after the initial copy received a total 18 submissions from community members and groups which, according to the report tabled to council on Tuesday, outlined “areas of ambiguity” requiring further consideration.
For more on this story see Page 3 of The Advertiser, Thursday, September 26