Another blow to Lower sport

THE future prosperity of sport on the Lower Clarence has received another body blow after $30,000 in funding for the Lower Clarence Sports Council (LCSC) was left out of the Clarence Valley Council's 2005/06 budget.

Local sporting clubs are already reeling at the threatened closure of the Wherrett Park Squash and Indoor Sports Centre, but the air of uncertainty over the future of sport in the Lower River has been heightened with news of the council's funding bungle.

Next Monday the LCSC would have ordinarily met for its annual meeting to decide how to split the funding among clubs hoping for a slice of the pie to improve their sporting fields and facilities.

LCSC president Jim Simmons confirmed yesterday that the meeting would go ahead as planned, but without a funding assurance from council he said no budgetary decisions would be made.

Mayor Ian Tiley wrote to the LCSC last week to say the $30,000 had been 'simply overlooked' during the draft budget's exhibition period.

He apologised for the error and said a staff recommendation would be made for council to approve the funding during a budget review meeting scheduled for November.

But Mr Simmons was disappointed to learn the LCSC, and in turn the sporting clubs who rely on it for funding, would have to wait until the end of the year to learn whether it would have any money to spend.

Councillor Tiley was unavailable for comment yesterday.

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