Angst within the Cohuna community about a proposed flight school is misplaced, according to Gannawarra mayor, Cr Brian Gibson.

Gannawarra Shire mayor, Brian Gibson says community angst over a proposed flight school is misplaced.

Gannawarra Shire mayor, Brian Gibson says community angst over a proposed flight school is misplaced.

ANGST within the Cohuna community about a proposed flight school at the local aerodrome is misplaced, according to Gannawarra mayor, Cr Brian Gibson.

Cr Gibson said that claims made in a letter from a Leitchville business owner that council rejected a proposal at a closed committee meeting were incorrect.

"The proposal was withdrawn; it no longer exists," he said.

The letter from former Cohuna shire councillor John Smith, who recently attended a meeting dealing with the proposal, is published adjacent on Page 4 of this Tuesday's Gannawarra Times.

Council meeting minutes show that the proposal had been discussed at two closed council briefings, but the mayor said that it was not formally presented for decision at an open meeting.

Cr Gibson said that the person identified as an "investor" at a meeting involving councillors, the Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh, some local residents and a lobbyist had not actually identified providing an investment.

"There was no money, but a proposed lease," he said.

Council had been asked to provide about $130,000 in principle while government funding was sought.

"We never saw any business case," he said.

Cr Gibson defended his decision to suggest Kerang's airport as an alternative location for a flight school because he said council owned the airport land and had the capacity for expansion, whereas it did not own the Cohuna aerodrome land.

"Where we spend money has to be for the benefit of all ratepayers and based on sound financial grounds," he said.

Deputy mayor, Cr Lorraine Learmonth also rejected criticism of her stance.

"Councillors are elected for the betterment of the whole shire and it is our responsibility to use ratepayers' money prudently," she said.

Cr Gibson said that recent expenditure on projects in various parts of the shire involved the provision of significant government funding, allowing council to complete projects, often after a long lead time.

"It's unfortunate that they've raised that (comparing Cohuna with other areas); I'd thought we had put that sort of animosity to bed," he said.

"It's based on misconceptions."

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop