ORANGE councillors were briefed about the ongoing stalemate between council and the Orange Show Society at a confidential meeting last night.
The two parties are locked in a dispute about the legalities surrounding the former council’s decision to rescind the existing deed of covenant and replace it with a Crown Land Trust.
In a report to council, city presentation manager Nigel Hobden admitted the conflicting legal interpretations obtained by both council and the society were “questionable” and added to the complexity surrounding the future management and operation of the showground.
He advised council not to commit to a Show Society meeting next Tuesday until after yesterday’s briefing.
Despite the ongoing disagreement, show president Peter Naylor remained positive the new council would have a different approach to the ground’s management.
“We’ve invited all the aldermen to come along and see what we want to do,” he said.
“Talking to the new aldermen they seem to be keen to get it up and going.”
Mr Naylor said the society still did not want the deed agreement changed or rescinded and needed to sit down and start talking to the new councillors.
“We’re not going to solve it in one meeting,” he said.
“It will take a lot of meetings to see what needs to be done.”
Despite the society’s legal interpretation appearing to be at odds with council’s, Mr Naylor remained confident that an agreement could be reached.
“Everyone has an opinion and our opinion is the deed is the best for us,” he said.
“We had a legal person have a look at it and he said not to sign the [Trust] MOU [Memorandum of Understanding].”
Maintenance and neglect at the showground remained an ongoing issue, Mr Naylor said, with the grounds in desperate need of drainage work, painting and a new shed.
But the state of the grounds was not deterring users, with recent functions at the showground cementing its importance for Orange.
“We’ve got the rodeo there and that’s telling you it’s still viable,” Mr Naylor said.
“There are so many things that can be done with the place.
“It’s in the centre of town now and with the Northern Distributor everyone drives past it everyday.”