Ritchie allowed use of council car

A REQUEST to provide a car for the man driving the innovative youth development program ‘Promoting Social Inclusion Through Sport’ across the valley has highlighted the financial frailty of the Nambucca Shire Council.

Veteran Macksville athlete Ritchie Donovan heads the program which aims to improve health and reduce anti-social behaviour but the $50,000 grant funding from the Indigenous Co-Ordination Centre has fallen short of providing him with a vehicle.

Council on Thursday night was asked to provide one of its own cars for him to use.

The problem is the only one it has available has already exceeded its use-by date.

Council general manager Michael Coulter admitted the six-cylinder sedan had 176,000 kilometres on the clock.

“It has already been substantially depreciated and needs to be replaced but council can’t afford a new vehicle to service what is only a short-term contract,” Mr Coulter said.

“If we insisted that the grant be used to buy a car, Mr Donovan would then have a problem delivering the program,” he said.

Councillor Paula Flack weighed in with her concerns. “Six-cylinder cars cost a lot to run and aren’t good for their environmental impact,” Cr Flack said.

“I’m not happy about this,” she said.

Faced with no other option the council resolved to allow Mr Donovan use of the car, but for his petrol costs to be covered by the grant money. Mr Coulter suggested if the grant was extended it would need to include an adequate allocation for the purchase of a car.

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