ORANGE City Council is “fobbing off” its responsibility to the community by only allocating $250,000 for asset renewal work at the Orange showground for one year, according to councillor Reg Kidd.
The council’s draft delivery program for the next four years allocates $250,000 for the showground for the 2012/13 year only.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw that,” Cr Kidd said.
“We have an obligation to the community of Orange.”
He said the move was a smokescreen by council after councillors previously agreed to spend the minimum amount of $250,000 each year regardless of whether a new showground management committee was formed.
“There’s been a strategy all along to run the place down,” he said.
“If we’re staying at the showground and it’s remaining as a community asset let’s get in and upgrade the facility.”
Orange Showground Action Group (OSAG) president Ron Gander said showground users wanted a long-term commitment from council for the ground’s future and redevelopment.
“The short term is one of the things that frightens us,” he said.
“They say that new councillors in September could change their mind but will they change their mind about the swimming pool or the pipeline?”
He said supporters of the grounds took the success of the recent show as a vote of confidence from the community.
“We want security of tenure and a long-term commitment,” he said.
“The showground only needs a small amount of money spent regularly to maintain it.”
Council spokesman Nick Redmond said the $250,000 allocated to the grounds was over and above council’s general maintenance.
He said any unspent funds would be rolled over into the following years provided council was able to rescind the deed of covenant.