'Can of worms': Councillor worried about donation precedent
CONCERNS were raised by a Whitsunday councillor that council may have opened a ' big can of worms' with the approval of a donation to a young teenager travelling to the United States.
Whitsunday Regional Council approved a $500 donation for a young Proserpine State High School student to attend the Miss Fashion Week International Finals in Dallas, Texas.
In March 2018, the council received an application for the Financial Support for Elite Athletes grant from Jasmine Krat for her daughter Isabelle.
The application was declined by council officers as the eligibility, including not meeting the criteria of an elite athlete, had not been met.
It was recommended at Wednesday's ordinary meeting that council could approve a one-off donation for financial support.
Deputy Mayor John Collins expressed his reservation over the donation after it was confirmed that council had not given out a donation of this kind before.
"I'm just worried that we will be opening up a big can of worms by doing this," Cr Collins said.
"We had a girl from Proserpine who won the world titles and nothing was requested for that.
"I don't want to set a precedent for other donations that may not fit into any of the criteria."
Division 2 councillor Ron Petterson said that he 'understood it had been knocked back' due to not fitting elite athlete criteria, but he would be disappointed to not support the young teenager.
"If a young person is doing something in an elite field, we should be doing something to support that," he said.
"It would be a shame to knock this back."
Despite the initial doubt, the motion was carried 7-0.
Ms Krat will attend the Miss Fashion Week International Finals in Dallas, USA on October 31.