HSG in stadium stand-off

Nathan Tinkler’s Hunter Sports Group remains locked in a stand-off with the state government over debts at Hunter Stadium.

The debts have been a sticking point in the drawn-out negotiations for a new 10-year access agreement for the venue.

A separate skirmish flared up recently involving a $19,000 power bill incurred during the stadium’s redevelopment in 2010.

The debt was the subject of a fiery war of words earlier this month between the Newcastle Knights, which is seeking reimbursement, and Hunter Venues.

‘‘This situation was raised at meetings that were held with Hunter Venues staff and officials and the undertaking was that we [Newcastle Knights] would be reimbursed to the cost,’’ Newcastle Knights financial controller Phillip Blackford wrote in an email to Hunter Venues general manager Bicci Henderson on August 6.

‘‘We will seek any documentation regarding that undertaking, however, given the previous administration’s lack of follow through with formal communication and given the strained relationship between the Knights and Hunter Venues, I would question whether a written undertaking was ever sent.’’

Hunter Venues is part of Venues NSW, which is a division of the NSW Office of Communities.

An Office of Communities spokeswoman said this week that the Knights’ claim had not made any reference to invoices from an electricity supplier.

‘‘Therefore the calculations contained in the invoice cannot be properly checked,’’ she said.

The Knights had been asked to provide appropriate evidence so the matter could be resolved, she said.

Both groups said they were working in good faith to resolve the outstanding matters.

Neither group would comment on the total value of the debts.

‘‘It has been agreed that the balance will be finalised at the same time we complete our current negotiations of the 10-year lease agreement,’’ Hunter Sports Group spokesman Tim Allerton said.

The Office of Communities spokeswoman said no gate takings had been withheld from the Hunter Sports Group while the negotiations were under way.

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