Glid­ing ul­ti­ma­tum Coun­cil tells club to pay up or ship out

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page - By Si­mon Rup­pert

Be­nalla Ru­ral City Coun­cil has is­sued an ul­ti­ma­tum to the Glid­ing Club of Vic­to­ria — pay up, or get out.

At an ex­tra­or­di­nary meet­ing of BRRC’s fi­nance and op­er­a­tions com­mit­tee coun­cil­lors clashed over a mo­tion put for­ward by Mayor Don Firth.

That mo­tion stated the Glid­ing Club of Vic­to­ria Inc, Be­nalla Aeropark Club Inc, and the State Glid­ing Cen­tre Com­mit­tee of Man­age­ment ei­ther sign the re­vised leases, which have been in­creased by coun­cil to re­flect the cost of run­ning the site, and pay $16 904, or va­cate their premises at Be­nalla Air­port.

The money re­quested is the Glid­ing Club’s share of the cost of devel­op­ing the leases.

If they don’t pay and sign the leases the coun­cil wants them out by close of busi­ness to­day.

While the ex­change be­tween coun­cil­lors was more pas­sive-ag­gres­sive than heated, the air­port leases are still a con­tentious is­sue in Be­nalla.

When dis­cussing the mo­tion Cr Firth said: ‘‘I be­lieve the glid­ing club will as­sist us by sign­ing the leases and pay­ing the money owed.’’

In re­sponse, Cr Danny Clar­idge said he was ‘‘dis­ap­pointed’’ Cr Firth had put this mo­tion to coun­cil.

‘‘They said last week they will sign the lease and pay the money owed,’’ he said.

Cr Peter Davis agreed and said he be­lieved the mayor had made the de­ci­sion out of frus­tra­tion and con­firmed he would not be sup­port­ing it.

‘‘Coun­cil hasn’t been squeaky clean (in th­ese ne­go­ti­a­tions), nei­ther has the glid­ing club,’’ Cr Davis said.

‘‘This mo­tion is not show­ing good faith.’’

At this point coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Tony McIl­roy in­ter­jected to warn coun­cil­lors ‘‘it’s not ap­pro­pri­ate for the glid­ing club to con­tact (in­di­vid­ual) coun­cil­lors di­rectly’’.

He went on to state is­sues such as this must go through the cor­rect chan­nels.

In re­sponse to coun­cil­lors Clar­idge and Firth said he their point.

‘‘But this has been go­ing on too long and it must come to an end,’’ he said.

‘‘If it’s not paid by Septem­ber 5 the mo­tion will stand.’’

Glid­ing club pres­i­dent Jonathan McAliece said the club had re­ceived no­tice to pay or va­cate, but he had been made aware that the mo­tion had ‘‘fairly weak’’ sup­port within coun­cil.

‘‘It’s pretty dis­ap­point­ing re­ally,’’ Mr McAliece said.

Con­tin­ued Page 3

●Davis, Cr un­der­stood

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