Grant eaters.

Ive been exposed recently to a species of professional Ive never seen before. Its a council grant eater.

Charming lady, enthusiastic, earnest, and happily receiving and distributing other people’s monies, in this case federal.


The Background: Ive been trying to start up a mobile fruitcart/juice business in my town. Its coastal, warm/hot most of the year and distinctly lacking anything like this.

Ive fought with the council for a year and won grudging approval, with a lot of potential roadblocks still to overcome.

Enter the grant eater… I wont mention the programme exactly, but lets just say its supposed to improve community health by cash grants to new or existing initives. My proposal was heard about by the lady in charge of $250,000 of federal grant money and shes pretty well fasttracked our application through council and all the hurdles which were in place are just dropping away. In addition we are to receive $5000 of grant money for our project.

Now Im not one to knock back a “free” quid, but Im going to receive money for a project which Im wanting to set up anyway with the expectation of making a profit. This brings me to my main point, throughout this process Ive seen the shocking mentality of “not-for-profit” at work. There is a large percentage of the people Ive talked too who seem to look down on the fact this is intended to make money.

I havent seen that before, its a new concept to me that people think a not-for-profit, which pays their costs through grants/taxes and unsustainable fees (too low) is inherently more noble or better than a business that turns a profit and pays its own way.

In some cases the grant eaters set up not-for-profits which can directly compete with existing businesses.

Heres an example.

In my town there are 2 bike repair shops, both doing ok. So what is the council grant eater doing??

Trying to set up a not for profit bike repair.

I wish this email was a parody, I wish the bloke in the pictures wasnt real.. but here it is.

Pollinators presents a rare opportunity to hear from Lachy Ritchie, one of Australia’s leading “Young Social Pioneers”.

Yes, its really him…

Register now: (link removed) leads Dismantle, a bike repair and recycling social enterprise based in Fremantle. Dismantle has been recongised by local and state governments, corporate partners and national NGOs as a leading example of integrated, sustainable delivery of social and environmental outcomes.In this 1 hour session Lachy will:Present on the ‘Dismantle’ model for connecting people and bikes for personal, community and planetary benefit, Share insights and lessons learned through successful social enterprise that reduces waste to landfill, builds confidence and relationships amongst young people and increases community participation,Discuss the relevance of the Dismantle model to regional WA and especially ****.  

Its disturbing to see government gifting money where private enterprise either already exists, or is already willing to set up. Just as disturbing is the messianic impulse that drives these professionals. Ive had quite a bit of fun dropping the “we want to put solar panels on the roof of the cart” line to the different council/grant people we have spoken to.

Without exception, 5 times now the first words out of their mouths have been “that’s sustainability”…

Pavlovs dogs couldnt do better..

But its a mindset of the professional, generally uni educated, tax eater class on display.

Oh and PS: Our council rates are going up around 25% this year… no connection..

UPDATE:: Recieved this just a short time ago, again I wish it was a parody…

I wish to apologise if I have caused anyone grief through the image of the pipe in the previous e-mail I sent reminding people of the Bikes + People = Happy people + Healthy planet event.The image was taken in the context of Tweed Run — remarkably effective campaigns to get non-cyclists on their bikes:

A global movement: no means does the Healthy Communities Initiative –  ******! Getting Active and Eating Well Made Easy project support smoking and I sincerely apologise if this e-mail has expressed this message.

19 Responses to “Grant eaters.”

  1. Grant eaters. « The Tizona Group | Cranky Old Crow Says:

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  2. kae Says:

    Sustainable not-for-profit bike repair.

    What’s sustainable about sucking on the public teat?

  3. Gregoryno6 Says:

    Reminds me of a piece Jack Waterton ( I think) wrote for the Independent Monthly – the old Independent Monthly, with Michael Duffy as editor. It mentioned a young aboriginal boy who produced some t-shirts with artwork – he wanted to sell them for fifteen dollars apiece, but the message he got was ‘No no, just cover the cost.’

  4. Ben Says:

    Hi, I’m Ben and I’m the workshop manager at Dismantle.

    I thought I’d offer a few pieces of information and clarifications for you to consider regarding the organisation.

    Oddly enough the core group of people who have been involved with dismantle from the very beginning [myself included] subscribe [albeit in a much less fervent way] to the notion that an organisiation with a goal [business or charity or both, in the case of dismantle] should be able to operate in such a way as to not be reliant on donations [private or government] for the security of continued operation.

    I am not about to sit here and say we exist purely in the free market as a business interest, but as a “hybrid social enterprise” [look it up, it’s a thing] we must, by the charter of our organisation, strive to derive as much of our budget from our own business activities as we can. We still rely heavily on volunteers and would not be where we are without significant and generous donations. I would like to note however that the overwhelming majority of our donations thus far [something well above the 90% mark] have come from private enterprise and individuals, not from any of the three tiers of government.

    On the notion of setting up a social organisation to compete directly with local businesses… I’ll have to disagree outright. You said there are two local bike repair shops in town, but there are actually four, all of whom we have established working relationships with. All of our members receive discounts at the local bike shops in Fremantle and I can personally attest that in my role as workshop manager I go out of my way to direct as much business to these shops as possible, depending on what the individual I’m suggesting to is after. Furthermore, I explicitly tell people when they come to the workshop that I’m conscious of stepping on the toes of the local bike business.

    To offer an example that I go through most weekends…
    Punter: “Hi I was wondering if you could tune the gears on my bike/fix my punctured tire/stop my breaks rubbing”
    Me: “No sorry, we’re not that sort of bike workshop. If you’d like to become a member or pay a single one off fee I can teach you how to [insert request for mechanical assistance here]”

    A few things to keep in mind about the above scenario. While we will indeed end up taking a small amount of business away from bike shops, it’ll only be if the customer is seeking something they cannot otherwise acquire from aforementioned bike shops; skills, social bike building environment, etc.

    Now while I’m sure none of this makes up for the fact that we’re a bunch of dope smoking pinko scum [It’ll probably also confirm every negative thing you think about this Uni educated tax eating class member to learn he also works at the ABC] I thought I’d offer you a little more information about the organisation so at the very least you can rail against it accurately.

    Kind regards,

    Workshop Manager

    P.S. I actually really like your idea for a fruit cart, even if you hate us and everything we stand for, if you were to wheel you cart over to the workshop every saturday, I would totally buy a stack of fruit, and I reckon others would too.

    • Carpe Jugulum Says:

      Hi Ben

      Thank you for your missive and the (somewhat turgid & patronising) information it contains.

      However, you did not really clarify the main point that the organisation are a bunch of rent seeking remoras.

      Now i do note that you you sting families $180 for membership, considering you provide virtually no form of service apart from advocating yourselves aren’t you in the least embarrassed by this considering the tough economic climate ‘working families’ face.

      I also see that you charge like a wounded bull for your ‘maintenance course’ i am curious to know if you are an RTO and how do you justify your fees as a not for profit. I mean given what you are charging if your product on offer is so compelling why do you need to be a bottom feeding rent seeker, sucking up funds that could be used for a better purpose?

      I am also curious as to why the website doesn’t publish a full breakdown of its finances.

      Now to move along – within the first 1min:31 of the websites video the talking head states one of their aims is to ‘compel’ people to use bicycles as their primary means of transport. Quite frankly Ben i think you and your associated beta males had better check the dictionary for the meaning of the word compel before someone less diplomatic than i gives the challenge to compel them to do something they don’t desire. I think we can agree that it would not end well for the beta males.

      Now you title your self as the ‘Workshop Manager” are you not ashamed to be part of the management cabal that is exploiting the working class, shame on you for exploiting the lumpenproles.

      So you have a University education, who cares are we meant to be impressed? Trust me, just because your local TAFE is associated with a tertiary institution does not make you a “uni educated” anything.

      You “work at the ABC” you do realise that this is an oxymoron.

      Overall, you response was akin to the sophomoric dribblings of an arts major.
      Don’t thank me for my critique, it is what i do, i’m a people person.

    • thefrollickingmolethefrollickingmole Says:

      Dont get me wrong, Im not grumpy at what you are doing, so much as the waste of potential. You obviously have the ability to communicate with a variety bof people, can organise well, and run a budget of sorts. (This is the core of 90% of business).\What im saddened at is you think recieving money to create your project is better than building up your own business to the stage you could do it yourself..

      Eg: Bill gates has multiple massive humanitarian projects going on, because he built a business first, and then went into philanthopy..
      I donate probably less than $1000 a tear in charity (usualy foodbank) but i absolutely know, my long term goal would be overseas schollarships… Why? Most bang for my buck, and overall, most value to a family group.

      So why i can respect your ideals, i do think you are going about it the wrong way if you are relying on anything oher than your own ” wealth” (imagine the money you yourself could control if you put your mind to it)..

    • bingbing Says:

      Hi Ben.

      My name is James.

      Go fuck yourself.

      Asshole. Fuck you.

    • bingbing Says:

      OK. I’m sorry. Sorry to be so harsh, Ben. But you have to see this from the perspective of people who actually pay taxes, and a lot of it. Read “The Wealth of Nations”, and you’d realise people who get their tax dollars wrenched away for the sake of feelgood programs such as yours, are quite rightly plenty pissed.

      Nice isn’t it, playing with money?

      But realise that the money YOU play with isn’t yours, someone else has earned it, and so when you then tell the people whose money you’re playing with how to live their lives, and how much morally better you are, and how “bad” they are, that that causes massive offence.

      Do you understand?

    • bingbing Says:

      I am not about to sit here and say we exist purely in the free market as a business interest, but as a “hybrid social enterprise”…

      Are you fucking serious? A “hybrid social enterprise”? So that’s the latest term for taxpayer-sucking feelgood wanktards.

      And what kind of retarded shop is it where a customer arrives about his bike and your bike shop says he has to go elsewhere?

      What the fuck is your problem with Capitalism, mate?

    • Carpe Jugulum Says:

      Bing – harsh but fair :))

  5. bingbing Says:

    No worries. In the local Korean council newspaper over here, they openly admit …. PROMOTE the ICLEI and Agenda 21. Fucktard mayor of this industrial city spends half his life on planes going from here to there, from junket to junket.

  6. davod Says:

    The photo “Yes, its really him…” looks like a still from a Canadian TV series.

  7. Bridie Says:

    Hi that photo of Lachy you’ve published is actually mine and I didn’t give permission for it to be used on your site. Please remove. Thanks!

    • bingbing Says:

      But you’ve provided no proof that it is, and considering Lachy sent it out in a group email, that most likely makes it public domain now. And even if you don’t agree with that, it would be hard to argue against fair use.

      tl;dr the pic stays

  8. fitzy Says:

    You guys are all crazy in the coconut. Who goes after a member of the community they hardly know, and posts a photo of someone and bitches about him? This is like the movie ‘Mean Girls’ and easily one of the most childish things I’ve ever seen. I’m not a local, and you have really given Freo a bad image with this shit. They clearly got some sponsorship from Brookfield Multiplex, as the signs all over those containers would indicate. All private, no government, definitely not ‘grant eaters’. Get your facts right fruity, and chill the fuck out.

    • bingbing Says:

      What are you on about? News sites and blogs target people all the time.

    • Mole Says:

      I havent singled him or his organisation out as being particularly “bad”. The idea is good, but that group is an example of what used to be done via lions/rotary etc, on a purely volountary basis becoming a carrer of sorts.
      Id invite you to have a look at how councils in particular (as well as state/federal) distribute grants to various projects. It may not be clear enough from what Ive written but its the people employed giving out these grants moreso than the groups recieving them I dislike.

      A recent job application in my local paper had writing for grants as part of the job duties.

  9. Sami Says:

    I agree with Fitzy, all this Bitching is revolting, how about having something nice to say. This is exactly what is wrong with the world, some little shit giving someone they don’t even know a hard time before they even really know the full story. You’re a judgemental little shit frollickingmole and I’m not sure I would buy fruit from you just in case you had spat on it.
    Plus you don’t even make any sense.. you got your bloody grant money and your still complaining.. you will never be happy.
    How about just for one day you wake up and smile and stop yourself passing judgement on innocent people minding the own business.

  10. Amy13 Says:

    Wait, first you said they shouldn’t take grant money and instead build themselves up, but then you claimed their membership is too expensive? (I paid $300 for my last bike service at a store, $180 for year membership at Dismantle is a pretty sweet deal comparatively) Bingbing, I assume you’re joking- If you want to get angry about wasted tax dollars I’m sure we could provide you with a long list of things our government wastes money on that are more upsetting (and will make you curse more) than a community bike workshop. A bike workshop that (amongst many other things) organises unpaid volunteers to make trikes (arm-powered bikes) for children with disabilities (out of donated material that would otherwise be land-fill). Reading these comments makes me feel sick, I really hope you are just misinformed and not really that disgusting. The people behind Dismantle give up their own time to teach individuals, children, families and people with disabilities skills. This is an organisation that has gone out of their way to do everything right for the community (thus why they have a good relationship with the bike stores in town). If Ben’s logic didn’t work then maybe you need a little emotional nudge in the right direction, while volunteering at Dismantle I saw a young boy (who can’t walk) ride a bike (trike) for the first time in his life, his goal for this year is to get fit enough to beat his older brother on his bike. Maybe you should spend your time criticising something a little more sinister than an organisation that (amongst many other things) recycles bikes for disabled kids and teaches skills.

    (- I don’t speak on behalf of Dismantle, I’m just a volunteer).

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