The City of Rockingham will review a scheme to promote healthy eating following a backlash from ratepayers over the annual cost to run the initiative. Councillors voted at their October 17 meeting to support a review of the City’s Fruit at Work scheme in an effort to address concerns aired earlier this year. The City allocates $30,000 a year to the scheme, which has been running since 2008 and supplies seasonal fruit to council workers. Waikiki resident Dianne Park questioned councillors in July over the use of ratepayers’ money for the program. Ms Park said in the last year, the City reported almost $29,000 in payments to fruit supply company Fruit at Work, which was equivalent to “the average rates of 22 ratepayers”. Councillors voted to review the scheme ahead of the 2024-25 budget preparation. Cr Caroline Hume said fruit promoted positive mental health and wellbeing. “Recently it was Mental Health Week. Fruit is more than just an edible. It’s about a healthy choice and a healthy connection between staff and support of our staff’s health and wellbeing,” she said. Cr Hume said given the shortage of staff at the City compared with other councils, there was a need to keep “staff reasonably happy”. Cr Leigh Liley also supported the scheme, saying ratepayers were “providing an apple or an orange a day to our staff”.