In response to the
media and community interest over the question of extending the lease for the
Coffs Harbour Deep Sea Fishing Club Ltd for a further 10 years beyond 2021,
Council would like to provide further clarification of the current position.
“No one wants the
Club to be in difficulties,” said Andrew Beswick, Council’s Director Business
Services. “A revitalised Deep Sea Fishing Club would be a fantastic attraction
at that location. Most people agree that an extension of the lease would be the
best outcome, but if it was that simple, then why haven’t we done it already?
recommends extending the lease without allowing it to go through the usual open
market process – and writes to the NSW Minister for Primary Industries saying
that – he still has to sign it off and he’s made clear we have to provide
evidence that supports our decision. That evidence has to answer a set of
criteria set down by the Minister.”
These criteria are:
Whether the tenant is a good and complying
tenant. This has not been satisfied as the tenant was in Administration.
The nature of new capital proposed. This can
only be tested by running an Expression of Interest in the open market and that
hasn’t been done.
Whether the proposed development is appropriate
for the site and consistent with the reserve purpose. Again this can only be
tested by running an Expression of Interest in the open market and that hasn’t
A lease term that is reasonable to enable the
tenant to recoup its investment. The financial information provided by the
Club shows it can recoup the money invested within the current lease term, so
there is no need for an extension.
Rent that is market rent. The Club’s rent is
heavily subsidised by ratepayers and the Club wants a subsidy to continue for a
further ten years beyond its current lease.
“What you also have
to consider is that the club’s financiers promised to help them on the basis of
their current lease which ends in 2021,” added Mr Beswick. “If they are now
saying that the lease has to be longer before the money is forthcoming, then
it’s a matter for the Club and its financial backers to sort out.
“The Club’s lease
still has five years to run and Council is very happy to negotiate on the
conditions of this lease to assist the Club. We are offering to help the Club
improve the lease premises and look at possible development of the site within
the existing lease term, including a new road, beer garden and the addition of
explained we’re happy to run an Expression of Interest process to establish the
best use of the site, which will enable the Club and others to participate in
an open market process for a new lease immediately following the expiry of the
A report on the
request for an extension of the Club’s lease from 2021 to 2031, will go before
Coffs Harbour City Council on Thursday, May 26.