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Shrine knockback

04 Jun 2019

Shrine knockback Image

The City of Melbourne has refused a request for increased funding from the Shrine of Remembrance.

The Shrine was seeking a new five-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) and a significant increase in the value of the council’s annual grant from $317,006 to $800,000, representing a 158 per cent increase.

Under the Shrine of Remembrance Act 1978, council is required to provided secretarial and administrative services to the Shrine, payment for the supply of water and improvement and maintenance of parks and gardens.

In requesting additional funding, The Shrine proposed an expanded interpretation of council’s obligations and identified up to eight full time equivalent existing secretarial and administrative staff that it considered should be funded by council. In a report from management to the May 28 council meeting, officers stated that the request was “unreasonable”.

“It’s management’s view that this is an unreasonable interpretation of the intent of the Act,” it stated.

As a trustee of The Shrine, Lord Mayor Sally Capp declared a conflict of interest on May 28. With deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood absent from the meeting, councillors nominated Cr Susan Riley to act as chair.

Under an updated MoU, councillors unanimously approved an increased grant of $333,000, while pre-approving the same amount for each year to financial year 2023-24.

Cr Cathy Oke said: “We’re giving a lot of cash but also a lot of in-kind services and I think that’s important that that’s spelt out under the new MoU and I believe that is the expectation from management.”

The Shrine of Remembrance did not respond to Southbank Local News for comment.

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