The Moyne Shire and the Koroit Lions Club have continued discussions over who should fund and be responsible for maintenance over a proposed solar barbecue at the Koroit railway station.
The $90,000 Solar Barbecue
The Koroit Lions Club had requested $20,000 from the council through community assistance funding towards the project, which, according to Standard.net.au, is estimated to cost close to $90,000, exclusive of ongoing maintenance.
Cr Jill Parker proposed to give $20,000 to the club towards a ‘barbecue and shelter of any kind’ with the proviso that council are not responsible for ongoing maintenance.
“I agree that the Lions Club have shown initiative in putting up a solar barbecue,” Cr Parker told a council meeting.
“They have asked us for funding towards that and I would like to see that we make that available to them.
“The only provision I would add is that if it is a solar one, that (council) won’t be responsible for ongoing maintenance of a solar unit.”
Through a submission to the council, the club noted that it would be an environmentally friendly asset and some of the councillors, such as Cr Jim Doukas, agreed. Cr Doukas told the meeting that having “two bob each way” (i.e. offering the money but refusing to take responsibility for the project in an ongoing fashion) represented ineffective policy and will make the council look like “idiots”. Cr Doukas said the money should be given “in the interest of progress”, an idea which was shared by Cr Jordan Lockett who said it was not “just about a simple barbecue where old mate cooks his snags”, but an opportunity to be a “progressive shire and say we believe in solar energy”.
The $20,000 grant was eventually passed but, as discussed, the council won’t be responsible for any maintenance/repair. So we’ll see what happens after it’s built!
Whichever way you cook it, $90,000 for a barbecue is certainly expensive. But when you put the investment into perspective, it’s great seeing the councils get involved in making facilities more environmentally friendly – such as the solar bins which have been rolled out to Cairns and in Noosa recently. Great progressive investment from the Moyne Shire!