School hall fee may stay

MACLEAN High School's hope of receiving an exemption from a $3000-$4000 hall-hire fee for its upcoming eisteddfod goes before Clarence Valley Council today.

Unfortunately for Maclean High, council staff have recommended the council proceed with charging the school for the hire of Maclean Civic Hall.

The matter will go before the council's environment, economic and community committee in Maclean today from 2pm.

Council's business papers show council officers have received a request from the high school for a fee waiver for the use of the hall.

However, the officers' recommendation is that councillors reject the school's request on the grounds it does not meet the guidelines under the council's donations policy.

Council's donations policy provides that the only financial assistance provided to educational institutions was a donation toward their awards presentations.

This year the amount of such donations was set by the council at $100.

During the NSW election campaign Clarence MP Steve Cansdell criticised the fee as mean spirited.

Independent candidate (and mayor) Richie Williamson also weighed in, saying it was unlikely the charge would apply.

He said the fee had to be considered by council but said it would likely be waived.

An application submitted to the council by Maclean High School's musical director Matt Fisher said there were many supporting reasons why the fee should be waived.

He said history showed the school's productions usually only broke even or made a slight profit.

In addition, the school often ran performances during the day for the elderly, as well as for students in the area's feeder primary schools.

He said any profits from past musicals had been used to purchase resources for the school or the community.

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