Ceduna council will not continue with its Country Arts SA partnership

The West Coast could lose its Country Arts SA officer following a Ceduna District Council decision not to continue funding the Creative Communities Partnership Program. 

Following a deputation from Country Arts SA representatives last month, the council voted not to fund the program for another three years.

It would have cost the council $30,000 a year to be a partner, however it moved a recommendation to not submit a partnership application either by itself or in conjunction with the Streaky Bay District Council.

Country Arts SA chief executive officer Steve Saffell said he hoped the outcome would be different.

“We are disappointed and while there was no guarantee we could continue the partnership, it’s incredibly disappointing they did not want to continue,” he said.

“It was always a possibility in my mind, but we thought with the results over two-and-a-half years that it would be a no-brainer.”

He said it would affect West Coast arts.

“The decision will reduce capacity for the entire region to be serviced and we don’t have offices everywhere, but where there is an officer there is far more activity,” he said.

“The region will still have access to programs but without someone on the ground it is more difficult.

He said Country Arts SA was still in discussions with the Streaky Bay council.

Ceduna councillor Peter Codrington was one of those to speak against funding the program saying money was needed for things like storm damage clean-up instead.

A report from the council’s chief executive officer Geoffrey Moffat said the council’s main benefit in the partnership was the provision of Country Arts SA Shows on the Road and Oysterfest activities, neither of which required the council to participate in the program.

The council voted to consider provisions in its 2017/18 Business Plan to assist the Ceduna Presenters Group in delivering Shows on the Road performances and the Oysterfest committee to provide arts and cultural programs at future Oysterfest events.