Utilising not-for-profit groups for council contracts could save money while supporting struggling organisations, says Dubbo councillor John Ryan.
In March, Cr Ryan called on Dubbo Regional Council to investigate if not-for-profit groups could be engaged to service the local government area's gross pollutant traps.
There are 64 GPTs in the LGA 46 of which are in Dubbo, and Cr Ryan hoped giving the servicing job to a local community group would provide them with a new income stream during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The idea has been knocked back by council.
"Due to the risks inherently involved with the cleaning and maintenance of GPTs, it is imperative that council only employ those contractors who possess the relevant training and experience to perform such a task," the council report on the GPT maintenance states.
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"It is not recommended that council engages with services of any not-for-profit, or volunteer organisation for the cleaning or maintenance of GPTs. There can be no guarantee of the level of knowledge, safe work methodologies, or suitability of machinery required to perform such cleaning and maintenance tasks."
Cr Ryan said his original idea was too narrow. He said he'll be thinking of a new idea that will better frame the support council could be giving to community groups.
He said there was a danger that during the pandemic, and even after it, the "dribs and drabs" of funding given to community groups could dry up.
That's why he hopes council will "look at ways they can not only support the community but I can see that if council can play a role in upskilling and awarding contracts to community organisations".
Cr Ryan said it would not only inject some passion into projects but "could in fact save council a lot of money" because the groups wouldn't be looking to make a personal profit.
Deputy mayor Stephen Lawrence said there was an opportunity for council to play a role in assisting to upskill community groups.
"I want to commend Cr Ryan because I think the idea of community groups and volunteer groups fulfilling these sort of functions is an idea whose time will come and it'll be interesting to see in the short term and then into the future what we can do as an organisation to assist that idea to come to fruition," Cr Lawrence said.
"I think there's a real synergy between these sort of council functions and not-for-profit community groups undertaking them."
Dubbo's GPTs, which are designed to filter rubbish such as bottles and cigarette butts, capture between 350 and 450 tonnes of waste every year.