Keith Hughes takes aim at Bega archers again

KEITH Hughes has again tried to halt Bega Valley Shire Council funds being given to a local archery group. 

At Wednesday’s council meeting a recommendation to approve funding grants to community groups for Seniors Week and Youth Week was presented. 

When Cr Hughes moved a recommendation to approve Seniors Week activity grants of $500 to seven groups, Cr Michael Britten moved an amendment to also include the Bega Valley Traditional Archers in the grants.

The amendment caused a wave of groans and sniggers among the councillors and staff present. 

Last year Cr Hughes caused controversy when he spoke out against BVTA receiving a grant, claiming archery was “the start of inculcation to gun culture” and seniors were “less likely to be able to pull the bow back” because they were “more feeble” (BDN 25/1/13).

Cr Hughes was not pleased with the amended motion, saying if it passed it meant “I will be in the invidious position of having to vote against my own recommendation”. 

The amendment did pass and Cr Hughes voted against the amended funding recommendation for Seniors Week.

Councillors Britten, Bill Taylor, Russell Fitzpatrick, Tony Allen, Ann Mawhinney, Liz Seckold and Sharon Tapscott voting for it (Cr Kristy McBain was absent). 

In addition to BVTA, U3A Sapphire Coast, Eden Men’s Shed, Bega Valley Genealogy Society, Twofold Aboriginal Corporation, Eden Community Access Centre, Eden Killer Whale Museum and Bega Valley Senior Citizens received activity grants.

The process was repeated for Youth Week funding, with Cr Britten again asking to amend the motion – which passed – to include BVTA. 

A motion to give Youth Week funding grants of $1000 each to South Coast Skate Club, Spiral Gallery, Auswide and the Women’s Resource Centre passed with councillors Britten, Taylor, Fitzpatrick, Allen and Seckold for, and councillors Hughes and Tapscott against (McBain was absent).

Cr Hughes maintains his stance against the Bega Valley Traditional Archers receiving money from Bega Valley Shire Council. 

“I do not support council funds being used for training or exposure to potentially deadly, painful sports,” he said. 

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