No agreement on sporting fields
STANTHORPE Sports Association is expected to engage in legal action with Southern Downs Regional Council over maintenance of the town's McGlew St sporting fields.
The SSA's legal representative, Vince Catanzaro, wrote to the council last Wednesday to communicate its intent to undertake legal action.
In the letter, Mr Catanzaro said the council, through its lease with the SSA, had a legal responsibility to maintain the fields.
In a statement, the SSA said the group was "forced to seek legal advice” when the council "failed to fulfil its obligations under the lease”.
"From the commencement of the most recent lease... the council again abided by the terms and mowed and maintained the fields for around eight months,” the statement said.
"Unfortunately after this time, the council then acted to change the lease by unilaterally imposing an external document to change the maintenance standards.”
The SSA rejected the council's offer of a used commercial mower due to storage constraints, and instead requested a payment of $25,000 per year for a three-year period, allowing the group to undertake its own maintenance. The council rejected this request.
SSA president Colin Britton said he had hoped the disagreement would have been dealt with before becoming a legal matter.
"It's got to be resolved,” he said.
The council said in a statement it had "no alternative option but to engage legal representation at ratepayers' expense”.
"Southern Downs Regional Council is disappointed with the receipt of the legal correspondence, especially given the offers and options that have been provided to the association,” the statement said.
"Council is disappointed that what appeared to be negotiations being undertaken in good faith has progressed into a legal matter.”