Age of Fishes Museum to come under Council finances

Cabonne Shire Council has voted to draft and finalise a Deed of Variation and Terms of Reference for Canowndra's Age of Fishes Advisory Committee with the Age of Fishes Board.

Council, at its monthly meeting last week also voted, in principle, to agree that funds verified as donated and bequeathed by the community are to be retained by Age of Fishes Association.

Moving the motion for the changes to proceed Cr Jenny Weaver said she is "glad to see the process started".

Cr Weaver added that the process has "still got a long way to go but it's a positive".

Stating she wasn't speaking against the moves, Cr Cheryl Newsom questioned the forecast financials associated with the move.

A report to the council meeting revealed operating expenses for the museum will go from $120,665 plus an additional operating maintenance of $7300 to costs of $262,494 with a forecast net result of a deficit of $130,794.

"Why have they basically doubled?" Cr Cheryl Newsom asked.

Cabonne Shire general manager Brad Byrnes explained to the meeting the council, even before the new arrangement, paid wages and a vehicle for the museum manager and some administration costs.

"All the costs and expenditure... has now come in and been forecast under our financial system," Mr Byrnes told the meeting.

"How are we looking to make that up?" Cr Newsom asked.

"The challenge is, there may be unforeseeable costs, the reality is we have to run the facility seven days a week and keep costs down and God forbid one day we might make a profit one day," Mr Byrnes said.

"The ambition of council is to drive down op expenses and increase income through initiatives and strategies, making it an even more attractive tourist destination.

"At this stage it will be a similar amount in the expense column next year," he said.

Asked how council would promote the museum, Mr Byrne said it was hoping to secure funding through the Building Better Regions funds.

"Obviously this is a transition process, a lot of strategic work will be done and reviews by people competent in the museum space," he added.