Letters

Maclean Indoor Sports Centre

Ed,
It breaks my heart to see the way the people of Maclean are treated by the Clarence Valley Council (CVC) and the very negative impacts on this township.
Nothing illustrates the attitude of Council more clearly than their administration of the Maclean Indoor Sports Centre.
The Maclean community raised $100,000 towards this project. The federal government contributed around $2,000,000 and the state government contributed $50,000. Despite these contributions CVC consistently amended the building plans and installed cheap fittings during construction to slash their costs. From the day the Centre opened in 2011 the cheap external louvres leaked creating significant disruption and cost……CVC probably consider an occasional indoor pool is a bonus for Maclean.
But the greatest problem has always been their management structure.
CVC owns three indoor sports centres……at Grafton….at Yamba…..and at Maclean.
In Grafton and in Yamba the Council pays the operators a substantial management fee (between $100,000 and $200,000 per annum in both cases) and they are required to pay no rent back to Council.
In Maclean the operator receives absolutely zero management fee…..and has to pay significant rent back to Council.
The first operator at the Maclean Centre stayed just a few months (while there was a rent “honeymoon” period) and terminated the contract. The current operator did not want to see the Centre close down and took over the management and has struggled to survive ever since.
I can clearly remember that pre-amalgamation, the Grafton Hockey Association could not get Grafton City Council to fund a new water-based hockey field and some members of the association, very courageously, went guarantors for a substantial loan. When CVC was created the Council stated that no other sporting body in the Valley had been required to contribute to local sporting facilities in this way and CVC took over responsibility for this loan.
I would like to think that this policy of decency and fairness would be applied with absolute consistency from that moment on….tragically that is not the case when it comes to Maclean.
Bill Day,
Yamba

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