Relief cheques 'in the mail'

THE Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, is outraged that hundreds of thousands of dollars of disaster relief assistance grants have still not been paid to Coffs Harbour City Council agencies and sporting groups by the State Government.

“It is my understanding that these grants have been approved through the usual Treasury process, however the minister responsible has not yet signed the cheques,” Mr Fraser said.

“The people of Coffs Harbour suffered badly as a result of last years multiple floods and a number of State Government ministers took the opportunity to fly into Coffs Harbour to inspect the region and take advantage of media opportunities, however when it comes time to offer practical assistance by signing cheques badly needed by CHCC and sporting groups, the minister is no where to be found.

“Are the finances of the State Government in such a poor state that the cheque signings are being delayed until the Appropriation (Budget Variation) Bill) 2010 is given ascent before they can actually pay the money. This is a disgrace.”

Mr Fraser said he had been contacted by the Committee of the Coramba Sports and Recreation Ground Trust who, along with other community members, had put in thousands of hours of voluntary labour to ensure their ground is useable and they are urgently waiting for the approved funds to be paid so they can finish the work required.

“This work being the replacement of light poles, commentary box, grandstands, pumps and hot water service and canteen cabinets and fittings and a carport,” said Mr Fraser. “I demand that this incompetent Government have these cheques signed immediately and forwarded to the CHCC to that organisation such as the Coramba Sportsground Trust, can complete the required work.”



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