CR MALCOLM McLean caused a stir at last week's Naracoorte Lucindale Council meeting when he claimed the 2014 SA Masters Games wouldn't generate $50,000 in tourism benefits.
He also said ratepayers who didn't live in Naracoorte wouldn't derive a benefit from hosting the event.
Director of planning, environment and community development Steve Bourne provided a brief report to the meeting confirming that Naracoorte had won the right to host the games, and mentioning that the council had earlier approved a contribution of $50,000 to help run it.
Cr McLean questioned whether the council should be budgeting a sum as large as $50,000 to support the games and doubted there would be an equitable return on the investment.
He asked: "Will we be able to recover any of that money?"
Asked to clarify the meaning of his question, he continued: "I don't see why the whole district should pay - the participants should pay.
"I don't think you'd get $50,000 of tourism out of it. How do you measure how much comes in from tourism?
"People's argument would be the benefit (from hosting the games) would be in the town and not in the outlying areas."
Several councillors started to speak against Cr McLean's comments, but Cr Craig McGuire got in first.
He said one of the major benefits of hosting such an event was the tourism dollars spent at local businesses; and the event itself made a $14,000 profit when Naracoorte hosted it for the first time in April, 2011.
Mayor Erika Vickery pointed out to Cr McLean that participants did in fact pay for every event they entered.
Mr Bourne underlined the fact that the council's $50,000 contribution would be spent on a range of activities at the games, including an organising coordinator, sponsorship, advertising and registrations.
He said there were some tangible ways to measure the value of tourism dollars and he was confident the council's $50,000 would be a wise investment for the community.
"Every tourism dollar spent is spent again," he said.
"There were 1100 participants last time, and most of them spent four days here.
"You know when you travel yourself, it doesn't take long to spend $500."
He added that the contribution was "still conservative when compared to Port Pirie", which employs someone full-time to coordinate its masters games.