The Busselton Performing Arts and Convention Centre finances have once again been at the centre of debate as Busselton councillor Anne Ryan failed in her latest attempt to defund the controversial project. At the City of Busselton’s March council meeting, Cr Ryan attempted to move a motion to prevent the use of $100,000 towards the BPACC during discussions on the City’s Long Term Financial Plan. As part of the plan, the City hopes to put aside a total of $1.5 million from the Marketing and Events Reference Group over the next 10 years to “ensure the success” of the project and wider community. Cr Ryan said the issue had been a “bee in her bonnet” for quite some time and attempted to claim she had been kept in the dark on the project’s financial discussions. “This project cannot and will not stand on its own feet ... this is just an arbitrary figure that appears to be plucked out of the air,” she said. “Councillors, you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” However, Mayor Grant Henley hit back at Cr Ryan’s claims, pointing out she had repeatedly spoken and written about the topic in various settings both as a councillor and prior to her election. “You cannot claim you haven’t heard about this because of the many hours of workshopping we have done,” he said. “I’ve heard you speak on it and write on it in the newsletter, it was in the LTFP last year … it is the base for the construction of our annual budget and it is only the budget that dictates what we spend our money on.” He made it clear the LTFP was not finalised, but instead a “guiding document” from which the annual budget was planned. “The LTFP we are adopting is a plan, that’s what the P stands for ... it is reviewed annually by the council who review and ask questions and suggest alternatives that formulate that plan,” he said. “If we don’t take the funding from MERG then ... it’ll come from somewhere else.” Cr Ryan’s motion was lost 8-1, with the funds agreed to be set aside for the project.