Nate Mackenzie and Stanthorpe Cricket president Luke Brady at Stanthorpe's unruly fields before the start of the 2016 cricket season.
Nate Mackenzie and Stanthorpe Cricket president Luke Brady at Stanthorpe's unruly fields before the start of the 2016 cricket season. Liana Turner

Hopes long dispute can be resolved

IT BEGAN with an ambiguous phrase.

A lack of specification has led the Stanthorpe Sports Association and the Southern Downs Regional Council from a long-standing agreement to a lengthy battle over the maintenance of the McGlew St Sporting Complex.

Now, after many months of debate, the SSA has moved to take legal action against the council's decision to change maintenance levels.

"It's a shame it's getting to this point,” Mr Brady said.

"I don't think that it will (happen) quickly but it'd be good if it was finally resolved and sorted out properly.”

Mr Brady, who had been involved with A-grade cricket in the region for 25 years, said it was a shame to see the once-revered fields overshadowed by this dispute.

He welcomed the SSA's move to pay a contractor to mow the fields so their season could go ahead.

"I think it's great that they did that so we could get our season started and still play sport there,” he said.

"I think what they've done is great.”

John Hendry, who has also been heavily involved in cricket in Stanthorpe, said he, too, was disappointed with the situation.

"I can't believe that the council won't honour their lease,” Mr Hendry said.

"They signed a lease and now they haven't honoured it.

"They used the excuse that they changed the maintenance levels.

"We signed the lease in good faith... and then they go and change it.”

Mr Hendry said they would be "better off” biting the bullet and maintaining the fields than burdening ratepayers with legal bills.

"They said they have no alternative but they do have an option,” he said. "They could honour the lease.”

He acknowledged much of the disagreement could have been resolved with a better-managed council amalgamation process years ago.

Mr Hendry said he didn't begrudge councillors' recent decision to vote in favour of a 2% pay rise.

Stanthorpe Border Post


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