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Council finally moves to discharge the $11,000 of Raindance money with $400 to first in best dressed

At its meeting on 14 August 2018, Council endorsed an initiative to help Cobar Shire who were suffering under crippling drought that affected Western NSW at the time. Earlier in the year Council endorsed the generous initiative of Narooma's Councillor Lindsay Brown to adopt Cobar Shire as a sister shire and to engage in a friendship arrangement between the coastal and inland shires. Raindance Eurobodalla was held with more than 450 attending to help Cobar. In all $44,065.05 was raised from ticket sales, raffle and charity auctions for drought relief. When the figure came back to the Council chamber on December 11th 2018 the Mayor recommended that : 50% of the funds raised be transferred to Cobar Shire Council for distribution through its determined governance process The Mayor Report recommendation, that 50% of the funds raised, came as a surprise to the many volunteers and community members who had got behind the appeal and donated goods, services and time. The 50% suggestion was effectively discussed and debated and found to be inappropriate with the observation that, from the outset, the Eurobodalla community were showing their support in kind by donation and time for those in Cobar facing a torrid time. Rising to the support of Councillor McGinlay's amendment to not support the Mayor's recommendation, fellow councillor, Lindsay Brown advised the chamber that "In my community (Narooma) there was strong support and reiteration by MC's that we were "Raising money for Cobar" and the 50% suggested split by the Mayor was never mentioned." In the end 75% of money raised was donated to Cobar Shire Council to support their drought affected community. The remaining amount of $11,205, was set aside to support Eurobodalla’s drought affected farmers. At its meeting on 12 February 2019, Council endorsed the Terms of Reference for the Eurobodalla Drought Relief Community Steering Committee and then commenced an Expressions of Interest process to establish the committee. The Mayor now says "Unfortunately, there was little interest from community members to be representatives on the committee, therefore it was never formed. Due to this, the remaining money has not been distributed." Rather than giving 100% to Cobar as was the original intention the Mayor now proposes that the remaining Raindance money of $11,205, be distributed to local farmers through Eurobodalla’s Disaster Relief Committee suggesting that "all farmers in Eurobodalla have been affected by the drought over the past two years, therefore any resident who can demonstrate they undertake farming activities will be eligible to apply. The Mayor proposes to seek the endorsement of her fellow councillors next Tuesday (October 27th, 2020) that payments will be up to the value of $400 and will be distributed on a first-in, best dressed basis. The Mayor suggests "Farmers will be required to provide a short explanation of what they will use the money for or provide receipts of items purchased in the past two years due to the drought. The Eurobodalla Disaster Relief Committee will facilitate this process for applications and the assess the applications. Any remaining funds that are not allocated during this process will be donated to the general Eurobodalla Disaster Relief Fund." It now appears that anyone with three horses and kelpie (or any resident who can demonstrate they undertake farming activities ) who spent anything over the last two years due to the drought will be eligible to apply, via a short explanation, for $400 from the Eurobodalla’s Disaster Relief Fund. Remember - "payments will be up to the value of $400 and will be distributed on a first-in, best dressed basis" Best wishes to the first 27 callers.

"Ring now for your $400 - first in best dressed". Any resident who can demonstrate they undertake farming activities can apply with a short explanation of how they were drought affected in the last 2 years.

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