A South West councillor has watered down his proposal to axe welcome to country and acknowledgement of country as the council prepares to debate the issue. The Shire of Harvey will now consider when First Nations people would be recognised at meetings and events, and to bring the council’s current policy up for review. The request by Cr Craig Carbone is a partial back down from his initial notice of motion, to solely debate axing of indigenous recognition, however the council may still decide to end it when they meet on Tuesday. At last week’s agenda briefing session, Cr Carbone asked how much the council had spent on welcome to country and who the money went to. Community and lifestyle director Kirstie Davies said 54 events had occured in the past five years in line with the council’s current policy. “They are typically Australia Day, citizenship ceremonies, NAIDOC Week, tourism events such as the Moka City delegation and official openings where ministers are invited,” she said. “Of those 54 events over the five years, $28,599 of expenditure has gone towards that so that is approximately $500 per event.” Ms Davies said the council had spent the past few years developing relations with individual elders and the Harvey Aboriginal Corporation as part of the current policy. Shire president Michelle Campbell rejected questioning from Cr Carbone about whether the council allowed a “free for all” with the welcome to country. “(The existing) policy was coming to council this month but that has now been deferred due to this notice of motion,” she said. Cr Robyn Coleman asked if there was a new timeline on having the policy come to the council for review. Chief executive officer Annie Riordan suggested it might not be brought back to the council until about March or April, depending on potential discussions within council and further consultation with Indigenous leaders. The Harvey Aboriginal Corporation earlier this month criticised Cr Carbone’s decision to bring the topic up for debate, with a spokesperson stating members felt he showed a “disconnect from the community he is elected to represent”.