State Member for the Clarence Chris Gulaptis and NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro. Mr Barilaro delivered $7.6 million to the Grafton Regional Gallery. He's also looking at getting 23 unpaid highway sub contractors their money.
State Member for the Clarence Chris Gulaptis and NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro. Mr Barilaro delivered $7.6 million to the Grafton Regional Gallery. He's also looking at getting 23 unpaid highway sub contractors their money. CLAIR MORTON

Gallery deserves grant, sub contractors deserve to be paid

THERE should be no confusion: the $7.6million NSW Government grant for the Grafton Regional Gallery has only one resemblance to the outstanding amount owed to 23 Pacific Highway subcontractors: the amount is similar.

It would be totally self-defeating to say that money should be diverted from the gallery project to pay the $7.3million the subcontractors have been chasing since last August.

The gallery grant and the money owed to the subcontractors is not a zero-sum game.

The government has put aside money to fund regional cultural projects and the gallery has won its share of that money.

The State and Federal governments put aside $4.3billion for the highway upgrade between Woolgoolga and Ballina and the 23 subcontractors have done their bit to further that project.

But in their case $7.3million of that has not found its way to their bank accounts.

Today, Deputy Premier John Barilaro has the happy task of announcing the gallery will get its funding.

It's an important project as Grafton seeks to create an identity for itself after the Pacific Highway bypass opens.

Last night Mr Barilaro met representatives of the subcontractors group to discuss their issues.

We can only hope MrBarilaro has good news for them too.



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