After backlash from ratepayers, Paramatta City Council has agreed to a lesser investment in the Parramatta Eels NRL teams – now committing just $1.15 million over three years, down from the $2.4 million deal that was initially penned.
Update:20/02/2024 – B&T is happy to set the record straight on this matter. Back in December 2023 a confidential council paper was leaked to the media which included various sponsorship options available to Councillors.
The Eels have confirmed with B&T that what was placed in front of the Council, and what was agreed on, was a full 3-year partnership of $1.15m in January 2024.
B&T did contact both the club and the council at the time but did not receive any correspondence until recently. We sincerely apologise for any inaccuracies in the original piece.
The initial deal was signed in a confidential meeting back in December and was set to see funding secured for the women’s game as well as the council logo appear on the NRLW jerseys. The deal was met with backlash from ratepayers and a request that the issue be discussed in the public forum, rather than behind closed doors.
Independent councillor Kellie Darley said that the deal was out of touch with community expectations and called for the deal to be scrapped. When the council voted to go into a closed session on Monday, Darley pulled her motion because the public would not be privy to the debate.
“Despite community backlash and the core premise of the Local Government Act to ensure a transparent and open government, the matter will once again be discussed behind closed doors,’’ she said before the meeting.
Despite this, a new deal for $383,500 each year for three years was secured last night.
Prior to the meeting, a number of unsatisfied residents spoke in the public forum calling the deal a waste of money and asking for it to be used in other areas such as roads, goods and services that will better serve residents. One supporter did back the deal claiming that it would only cost ratepayer $1.50 each.
The United Services Union objected to the council’s partnership with the rugby league club when the deal was first signed and, in December, trucks in the CBD were seen with prominent messages slamming the decision. They were ordered to stop by the council.
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