News

'Council hinders economic growth'

Maclean developer Andrew Baker.
Maclean developer Andrew Baker.

CONTRARY to a document painting the Clarence Valley in a positive economic light this week, Maclean developer Andrew Baker described the state of play as a "council-induced" local financial crisis.

"I note your article reporting 'just a twinge' of economic pain," said Mr Baker, developer of a number of highly contested subdivisions in Gulmarrad, owner of the Maclean Hotel and candidate in the September local election race.

"The council report is probably the only place you will find such an assessment. Out in the real economy the picture is quite different."

Mr Baker said the council had a lot to answer for in holding the local economy back.

He shared a nine-page report, which outlines economic advice provided to councillors over the six-year Maclean supermarket saga, which continues to drag on.

It outlines the proposal of his company Holder Baker Enterprises (HBE) to attempt to link the Maclean CBD to a proposed supermarket and the offering to council of land along the riverfront for public use.

The document highlights 25 development applications that went before council, including many which were not put forward by HBE and criticises the quality of advice provided to councillors.

But Clarence Valley Council general manager Scott Greensill, who was appointed late last year after many of the issues raised by Mr Baker were dealt with, said it was unfair to single out the region.

"With the exception of mining- related areas, all of Australia has suffered to some degree with impacts from the GFC and Clarence Valley is no exception," Mr Greensill said.

"The recently released regional statistics however do show that while things may have slowed, growth is still occurring and that the core economy of the Clarence Valley is quite resilient."

In regards to addressing individual matters raised, Mr Greensill said many of the issues had been dealt with by a council-appointed investigator in 2011 following an email from Mr Baker.

Mr Greensill said as the email contained accusations of corrupt conduct, it was referred to the ICAC by acting GM Mike Colreavy, who responded in August 2011:

"Given that Mr Baker's list of transactions of what he believes show corrupt conduct are in most cases speculative and unsubstantiated, and noting your willingness to engage an independent planning expert to review each of the transactions he has listed, the commission has determined not to take any action."

Topics:  clarence valley council financial crisis scott greensill



Family praised for its support after drowning

The Redden Family receives a Police Award for Community Service for assisting the family of missing swimmer Ali Mosawi. Pictured are Detective Sergeant Matt Zimmer, Kim, Rob & son Bray Redden and Chief Inspector Sharri Allison.

Family praised for supporting family of missing teenager

Skills and Thrills Showcase in Grafton

Apprentice tiler Shannon Thompson will be an ambassador at today's Skills and Thrills Careers Showcase

Skills that pay the bills

Wicks slams 'cheque book club' call

Grafton Ghosts have enjoyed an unbeaten first half of the 2017 Group 2 Rugby League season including the Viv Hodge Memorial Trophy against South Grafton Rebels with captain-coach Danny Wicks at the helm.

Ghosts captain-coach jumps to defence of club's homegrown pride

Local Partners

Go Art is back for another brilliant exhibition

Youth and opens combined art competition Go Art returns for another year, with exhibitions closing soon


Skills and Thrills Showcase in Grafton

Apprentice tiler Shannon Thompson will be an ambassador at today's Skills and Thrills Careers Showcase

Skills that pay the bills

NRRRL: Magpies on a mission for home fans

ON A MISSION: Captain- coach Dan Randall hopes to lead Lower Clarence Magpies to their first victory of the 2017 NRRRL season when they run out in front of their home fans against Evans Head Bombers at the Nest this Sunday.

Lower Clarence ready for another cracker at the Nest

Polocrosse hits fever pitch at Hawthorne Park

ALL SYSTEMS GO: This weekend Grafton Polocrosse Club hosts its first annual carnival at Hawthorne Park since the club re-formed.

New lease of life in the Clarence Valley for equestrian team sport

Wonder Woman is a kick-arse superhero romp

WITH so much at stake, thank Zeus that Wonder Woman didn’t fall into the same trap as its DC Extended Universe predecessors.

Nocturnal Tapes new single just the start

Nocturnal Tapes

Yamba duo release first single on Sony

Everything coming to Netflix, Stan, Foxtel and Amazon Prime Video this June

Orange Is The New Black returns for another season.

Find out what's being added to our streaming services in June.

Sam Armytage and Tom Cruise? Saaaaay what?

Apparently, the answer is no.

Musical tribute to flood volunteers released

Songwriter honours flood volunteers who helped their neighbours.

Lismore songwriter Simon Thomas was moved by strangers' kindness

Karl Stefanovic's rant about Schapelle Corby 'a bit rich'

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Maybe he just wanted to make himself the story.

Could Schapelle be heading for Gladstone?

Australian Schapelle Corby is escorted by Bali Police at the parole office in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May 2017.

Schapelle's mother teases her free daughter could be Gladstone bound

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!