Council staff install the new sliding flood gates as part of the redevelopment of McLachlan Park in Maclean.
Council staff install the new sliding flood gates as part of the redevelopment of McLachlan Park in Maclean.

Council rejects claim McLachlan Park budget has blown out

A MACLEAN community leader believes the Clarence Valley Council has blown its budget for the revamp of the town's riverside at McLachlan Park.

Greater Maclean Community Action Group member Bob McPherson said a report in a recent edition of Coastal Views about the progress of work on the park concerned him.

"This smoke and mirrors type of reporting, reminds me of an old saying that a person only tells you what they want you to hear," he said.

"The community of Maclean are no fools, as they are very much aware that council's budget was confirmed at $1.26million dollars to completely revamp McLachlan Park."

He said at a recent public meeting a senior staff member said the council needed another $500,000 to complete what he called stage two.

"It was very clear to my mind that his words were trying to cover up that council has blown the budget and what Maclean is left with in the short term, is not what one could call a park," he said.

"This type of media release actually does more damage to council's image and project management, as I understand only stage one is on track and should be completed by the end of November. In other words, what you see today at the park is what you will get for $1.26 million dollars.

"Council needs to improve its communication with the community, rather than making media reports that are just so misleading."

The council works and civil director, Troy Anderson, said it was incorrect for Mr McPherson to suggest council had made media reports that were misleading.

"Council was not responsible for the report in Coastal Views nor the heading on the article," he said.

"This report was not based on any media statement issued by council. There was no press release.

"I assume the article was based on a report to the October council meeting. That report accurately described the progress of works on McLachlan Park, including its budget.

"This was also explained to Mr McPherson during the meeting in Maclean."

"If Mr McPherson wants accurate information on the progress of McLachlan Park I suggest he reads the report that was presented to council, not how that was misrepresented in the media."