Not magic for Leeton Shire ratepayers

Ever heard the expression “the magic of the movies”?

It seems Leeton Shire Council were bewitched by this magic at their February meeting.

A late item at that meeting was a request to contribute toward the cost of producing the film Inside Water.

The Irrigator newspaper first reported on this project in January, so it is surprising it should need to be rushed before Council.

The minutes of Leeton Shire Council record that over three motions their offer of support went from $1,445 to “up to $7,500” before settling on “full sponsorship in the amount of $15,000.”

Minutes show that Councillor Ciccia moved the first motion which lapsed, yet this same councillor requested “that his vote against the [final] resolution be recorded.”

The Irrigator reported that “some councillors were unsure considering the tight budget they are currently operating under” and the final motion only narrowly passed, “five votes in favour and four against.”

Should local government be investing in producing movies when there are established funding bodies for this purpose?

Councillor Kidd was quoted in The Irrigator stating “There are major benefits of staging a filming project like this in Leeton” and stating that it could put the town “‘on the map’ both nationally and internationally.”

The crowdfunding page for the project it states filming will take place at Merribee Homestead, Binya.

Where is this production being filmed and how will it benefit Leeton Shire?

Ratepayers should be questioning both the decision to invest in film production and the handling of this request.