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CVC issues showground statement

Geoff Helisma

Clarence Valley Council (CVC) has issued a media release pertaining to a failed application for a $62,000 Public Reserve Management Funding grant to replace stables at Maclean showground.

On Wednesday September 27, the Independent reported that “Maclean showground won’t get much-needed new stables because of an error by Clarence Valley Council”.

At the time, CVC declined to make any comment on the issue; on Tuesday October 12, CVC emailed a response that it had prepared for another Clarence Valley publication.

The council’s general manager Ashley Lindsay said “aspects” of the Department of Industry – Lands and Water’s explanation, regarding why CVC’s grant application was rejected, “didn’t make sense”.

The department told the Independent that CVC had missed out on the $62,000 grant because it had failed to submit a report for a 2016/17 weed eradication project at Mountain View Park Reserve.

“At the time of [CVC’s] application for 2017/18 funding, the council had not submitted its final report for the previous project as required,” a department spokesperson said in September.

“We concede that,” Mr Lindsay said, “but the documentation was provided within a week after the funding applications closed.”

In the media release, Mr Lindsay said “there were a number of applications made for grant funding from the Public Reserves Management Fund and two of the applicants – the Maclean Show Society and the Wooloweyah Rural Fire Service – were initially notified their applications were successful”.

However, the department subsequently revoked its decision to grant the showground funding.

Mr Lindsay said it was difficult to understand why the application was refused when the grant to the Wooloweyah Rural Fire Service, which was subject to the same guidelines, was approved.

“What we can’t understand is why their rules seem to have been applied differently for two applications under the same program,” Mr Lindsay said.

“We have seen a press statement from the department explaining its position, but it didn’t address why one was successful and one wasn’t.

“To date we haven’t received anything formally to explain that.”

Mr Lindsay said he would like the department to reconsider its decision.

“It’s not the fault of the Maclean Show Society that the weeds report wasn’t filed,” he said.

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