Big River Timbers Seeks Financial Support from Clarence Valley Council

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The Clarence Valley Council (CVC) could provide financial support for a Grafton timber mill damaged by fire late last year.

Big River Timbers suffered millions of dollars in damage after fire tore through part of its Junction Hill site in November, 2014.

The company has been forced to let go of dozens of staff, and said it is unlikely to return to full operations for at least another year. It has formally asked the CVC to consider waiving some of its rates and other charges.

The CVC Corporate, Governance and Works Committee this week recommended providing assistance of up to $50,000.

The Mayor Richie Williamson said it is likely some level of support will be agreed on at next week’s council meeting.
“I personally hope the council does do that,” he said. “40 to 50 direct jobs is a lot, and I hope some help can be offered, perhaps through a support package.

Cr Williamson said he has some concern about providing financial support for Big River Timbers, as it could set a precedence for other struggling businesses.

“That is certainly something that will be in the forefront of our deliberations and our minds,” he said. “There are a lot of businesses doing it tough. Each of those cases need to be considered on merit. Certainly setting a precedent is something that needs to be carefully considered.”

Source: ABC News

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