ANGER within the Cohuna community at the loss of a proposed airline flight school facility at the local airport is palpable.
The blame for the loss of a potential multi-million dollar development has been levelled at Gannawarra Shire Council over its alleged "negative" response to the proposal and the manner of council's subsequent rejection of the proposal.
Contrary to recent comments by the mayor, Cr Brian Gibson that council did not vote to support the project because the proposal had been withdrawn, sources involved in discussions claim that the potential investor withdrew after council had resolved to reject the proposal.
Cohuna-based lobbyist Andrew Gibbs, who was representing the proposed investor, has accused council of failing to properly deal with the matter in a public and transparent manner.
"I can tell you that I was notified that council dealt with it at a [closed] briefing session and when I asked why wasn't it forwarded to a formal [open] council meeting, I was told that 'we may well do'.
"Council had extensive documentation and a request for in-principle support, but it was never put on the agenda. I stepped back thinking that maybe I was the problem and arranged for another lobbyist to represent the client.
"Council made a list of demands, including seeking bank account details from the client, which was extraordinary."
Mr Gibbs said that after council failed to consider the matter further, the client claimed that council had "conned us" and was aggrieved that council did not have the manners to contact him.