The Victor Harbor Horse Tram is one step closer to becoming independent from council.
At the February 26 council meeting, all but one of the City of Victor Harbor’s elected members voted to establish the Victor Harbor Horse Tram Authority as a subsidiary of the council.
If it is approved by the Minister for Local Government after the state election, a charter will be put into place which will see the horse tram run more as a business than a service, according to the Independent Horse Tram Committee chair Carol Schofield.
“It becomes independent and allows the horse tram staff to make decisions, so they don’t have to keep coming back to admin,” she said.
“It will be looking at both income and expenditure. The charter allows (the authority) to go for grants and sponsorship which they can’t go for under local government control.”
Ms Schofield is a councillor but was unable attend the council meeting, so she watched the meeting via the council’s live streaming service. She was “really thrilled” when the council voted in favour of the charter.
“There has been thousands of hours put in over the last 18 months,” she said.
“I was quite excited because we’re at the end of one of the chapters, but now open a challenging chapter to put recommendations and the charter into place.”
If the subsidiary is approved, the current committee will become the interim board while board members are called for.
Committee member Terry Andrews believed by going into a charter, there could be huge savings.
“Our target, as the interim committee until the board is officially appointed, will be to set the horse tram on a course where we have $40,000-plus per year in sponsorship, a rolling horse stock, maintenance and training program, a viable volunteer force and supporters club,” he said. “It is now ‘team Victor’ behind the horse tram; it has the community support, committee support and council support to look after and develop the horse tram into Victor’s number one drawcard.”