LIVE: Council to vote on Fishos' future

6.30PM: MAYOR Denise Knight discusses the outcome of tonight's vote and what comes next:


The club's director Bill Mabey said the club was "ecstatic" at the vote of the councillors:


5.31PM: COUNCILLORS vote unanimously for direct dealings with the club, and their decision is met with applause from those in the chamber.

The decision must still be signed off by Minister for Lands Niall Blair.


5.30PM: COUNCIL general manager Steve McGrath confirms the rent price in the current lease could be open to negotiation.

Cr John Arkan suggests extending the lease to 15 years, rather than 10, and mayor Denise Knight responds 10 years is the period requested by the club.

Council director of business services Andrew Beswick says items such as commercial shops on the bottom level of the club and subleasing may be negotiated.


5.29PM: MAYOR Denise Knight uses a mayoral minute to clarify her position on the club.

Cr Knight says there had been "less than accurate" claims on her position of the club including its debts.

She says the club has outstanding arrears including "large water charges".

She says the club is responsible for this expenditure under the recently signed Deed of Company Arrangement.

"In saying this, I (recognise) the support of the community and the passion of the president," she says.

She makes a number of recommendations including the club providing detailed proposals and financial modelling.

She also calls on Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser to take a more prominent role in supporting the club.

"Mr Fraser says the trust should support direct negotiations with the club… it would therefore be useful for him to encourage the minister's approval," she says.


5.17PM: STEWART Veitch, who has 23 years experience in crown lands, is also speaking against Option One.

Mr Veitch says the land in question is crown land and widely defined as public land, and the public therefore has the right to determine its use.

He asks councillor not to lose sight of that.

Mr Veitch asks if the proposal is in public interest and how will the public react.

He says the call to market appeals only to one group - the development community.


5.15PM: THE council meeting has begun with a public address from Coffs Harbour Deep Sea Fishing Club president Bill Mabey.

He calls on council to reject Option One for the club and instead support the club's proposal for its future.

He says the club's plan of management has private sector investment from North Coast Hotel Group, yet the council is being asked to "kill the community-based club and chase the investor away".

Mr Mabey says the club is prepared to pay market rent on a lease extension.

"We need to work together for the best possible outcome," he goes on to say.

His address was met with applause by members of the public gallery.

Mr Mabey spoke to The Advocate ahead of the meeting:


5PM: COFFS Harbour City councillors will tonight vote on a recommendation for the Coffs Harbour DeEp Sea Fishing Club's future.

The council chamber is packed with Fishos supporters who have turned out to witness the decision.

Follow this page for live updates.

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