ROADS, rates and rubbish took second place to a short film about a mermaid when Redland City Council approved, in principle, an extra $10,000 funding for the movie.
Officers recommended the council give producers of The Salt Maiden $2000 to promote the completed movie, filmed in Redland City.
However, at this morning’s Corporate Services and Governance committee, Division 4 councillor Lance Hewlett said that was not enough money and plumped for $20,000.
An officer report said the council only had $126,000 for such community projects and granting the request would mean about six groups would miss out on funds.
It said last year, the council gave the production team $7500 for script development under its Regional Arts Development Fund grant scheme.
Mayor Karen Williams agreed with the report and said the recommended $2000 was enough and council had to stick to its core businesses.
She suggested the film’s producers apply for state and federal funds.
But seven of her councillors disagreed, prompting Cr Hewlett to down-sized his request to $10,000.
That was backed up by Division 1 councillor Wendy Boglary and Division 10 councillor Paul Bishop, a former actor on the television show Blue Heelers.
Cr Hewlett said the film had attracted investment and interest from the Coochiemudlo Island community and would promote Redlands when screened at Victoria Point cinemas.
“It’s hard to put a tangible benefit on this film because it’s not like RedFest or the Easter Festival but its benefits will be enduring by its acknowledgement of the Redlands,” he said.
He also said there was an “inequity” in council funding for events and said $25,000 was spent each year on entertainers at the two-hour Christmas by Starlight event, which the council funded to the tune of $60,000.
Cr Murray Elliott said the additional money for Salt Maiden was excessive and would mean the film’s producers would get a total of $17,500 from the council.
“We’ve got a committee set up to assess funding requests and now that’s gone out the window,” he said.
“If we do this, the council will have to have a big bucket of money when other groups roll in the door, be prepared … to fund them.”
Six councillors voted in favour of Cr Hewlett’s $10,000 proposal. The matter will be brought before the council’s next general meeting on Wednesday, September 19 at 10am.
The movie, tells the tale of a woman who moves to an island to conquer her fear of drowning and falls in love with a ferryman.
Playwright Donna Cameron wrote the play while she lived on Coochiemudlo Island in 2002.
Director Beverley Callow, actor Renee Lim, composer Collin Offord and photographer Randall Wood turned the story into a film.
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