Changing CCS to become Yarrila Place?

A proposal to name the CCS in Gordon Street Yarrila Place is among a number of items on the agenda for Councillors to consider this week on Thursday 9 September.

The relevant agenda item, GM 21/15 treads as follows;

“The Cultural and Civic Space project always envisaged an official name for the building.

The Cultural and Civic Space (CCS) Project team in conjunction with local firm, saso creative, has undertaken a consultative process with the community which has culminated in a recommended name for the Cultural and Civic Space building.  The recommended name is Yarrila Place.  Yarrila is a Gumbaynggirr word that means “illuminate / brighten / light up / illustrate”.

A series of workshops in July 2021 with the general community and Gumbaynggirr clans generated a pool of potential names that has been filtered down to the recommended name.  This process is described in saso creative’s report which is Attachment 1.

Consultation demonstrated the community’s preference for a Gumbaynggirr name.  To quote from saso creative’s report (Attachment 1) “From all sources of data — across the workshops, the Have Your Say survey, the Ballot Boxes — and from listening to the buzz on the street in simply talking to people about a Name for the civic and cultural space building, the overwhelming message — really, quite startlingly overwhelming — was that the building’s Name should be of Gumbaynggirr origin.” “This was not in response to a specific leading question: it was entirely unprompted, unscripted, ad-lib and volunteered.”

The CCS Project, in conjunction with local firm, saso creative, has undertaken a consultative process with the community which has culminated in a recommended name for the Cultural and Civic Space building. The recommended name is Yarrila Place. Yarrila is a Gumbaynggirr word that means “illuminate / brighten / light up / illustrate”.

The building name sign is to be placed on the lower, brick part of the façade on Gordon Street. The CCS Project team anticipates a future report to propose a name for the combined gallery and museum in the CCS building.


The options are:

·    Accept the recommendation of Yarrila Place as the name for the CCS building noting that Yarrila is a Gumbaynggirr word that means “illuminate / brighten / light up / illustrate”.

·    Accept Miindalay Place as the name for the CCS building noting that Miindalay is a Gumbaynggirr word that means “becoming clever / learn”.

·    Accept Murrungba Place as the name for the CCS building, noting that Murrungba is a Gumbaynggirr word that means “make a circle”.

·    Reject all three shortlisted names and recommend an alternative methodology for the naming of the CCS building.”


The CCS design changes

By Rob Trezise of the Coffs Coast Independent News (CCIN) Facebook site

Have you noticed the difference ?

The building we know currently as the Cultural & Civic Space under construction for the Coffs Harbour City Council has had the plans modified in a significant way since the original plan was approved by the Department of Planning..

Currently these changed plans are with the NSW Department of Planning awaiting approval.

But the most obvious change is seen in the photos below.

The revised cost is attached. Photo # 1 is before. Photo #2 (also the lead photo above) is after, ie; ‘currently planned’.


CCO Editor: There have also apparently been changes to the offices of the mayor and the General Manager too. They get their own self-contained ‘amenities’ (aka their ‘Throne Rooms’?) according to the following posted to CCIN by Cath Fowler late last week.

Cr Amos moves to restrict CHCC Management Control to items $250k or less

Cr Paul Amos has moved a notice of motion, NOM 21/20, to reduce Council Executive control over the CCS as follows but Council management argue this is not needed any more as all key contracts are now let;

Motion: Councillor Amos has given notice of his intention to move the following: “That all contracts relating to the Cultural and Civic Space project in excess of $250,000 are to be determined by full council and not under delegated authority.”
Cr Paul Amos. Photo, provided


“This reverts the authority as to control of major variations on the Cultural and Civic Space project back to councillors, this more closely aligns care and responsibility for councillors to this project.”

Staff Comment:

At its meeting on 28 November 2019, Council resolved (Resolution No. 2019/209):

That all contracts including the Cultural & Civic Space proposed for Gordon Street Coffs Harbour in excess of the prescribed tender amount of $250K are to be determined by full Council and not under delegated authority.

From commentary shared post Council’s adoption of the above resolution, it is understood that some unintended consequences may have been captured by the resolution and subsequently it was suggested that the matter may be the subject of review at an appropriate time.  The term “That all contracts…” has the effect of capturing a broad range of matters, whether they be procurement or other matters.

Therefore, at its meeting on 12 March 2020, Council resolved (Resolution No. 2020/56):

That Council:

1.       Repeal Resolution 2019/209; and

2.       Resolve that where Council is proposing to procure goods and services where the value exceeds the prescribed tender threshold of $250,000, in respect of the Cultural and Civic Space Project, each resulting tender is to be determined by full Council.

This position provides Council with an increased level of approval beyond the delegations in the Tender Acceptance Policy adopted by Council.

The Cultural and Civic Space Project’s design and construction contract with Lipman Pty Ltd was approved by Council in February 2021, together with a total project end cost of $81.265M, which provided a level of contingency funding.  The contract, and project more generally, is required to be managed within this project end cost and any commitments or contract variations that exceed the project end cost of $81.265M currently require the approval of Council. With the awarding of the design and construction contract there is no expectation that further significant contracts will be required for the project.

If Council wishes to increase the governance arrangements for the approval of contract variations further, then the resolution will need to be specific in this regard, noting that this exceeds the approval arrangements for other Council contracts. However, Council also needs to be aware that the time requirements for approval of variations may cause delay in approval times, through the Council reporting process, and therefore lead to potential delay costs under the contract. The maximum delay penalty payable by Council to Lipman Pty Ltd under the design and construction contract is $19,674 excluding GST per day.

Cr Townley asks for answers on waste management and the container deposit scheme

The following questions on notice were received from Councillor Townley.

Cr Sally Townley. Photo: Trevor Veale, formerly of the Coffs Coast advocate/Daily Telegraph


“1.     Please provide details of total revenue received by Council from Container Deposit Scheme Revenue Sharing Agreements.

2.       Please provide information to show the time periods when CHCC and Handybin were within agreements and the revenue amounts, as well as all periods when Revenue Sharing Agreement was not in place.

3.       Please provide commentary, where possible, as to why Revenue Sharing Agreements were not in place for the relevant periods.”

Council’s Answers:

1.       The total revenue received by Council to date is $479,719.84 (inclusive of GST).

2.       The following describes the Refund Sharing Agreement (RSA) situation during the period:

·        No Refund Sharing Agreement – 1 December 2018 to 20 December 2018.

·        Refund Sharing Agreement – 21 December 2018 to 30 June 2019 = $151,867.33 (inclusive of GST).

·        Refund Sharing Agreement – 1 July 2019 to 31 December 2019 = $98,067.84 (inclusive of GST).

·        No Refund Sharing Agreement – 1 January 2020 to 2 August 2020.

·        Refund Sharing Agreement – 3 August 2020 to 31 December 2020 = $155,471.44 (inclusive of GST).

·        Refund Sharing Agreement – 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021 = $74,313.23 (inclusive GST) received for the first quarter. No amount received to date for 2nd quarter – awaiting information from Contractor.

·        Refund Sharing Agreement – 1 July 2021 to 10 September 2021. No amount received to date as the quarter covered has not yet ended.

3.       The time periods when Revenue Sharing Agreements were not in place were:

·        1 December 2018 to 20 December 2018 – Comment: Under the CDS Scheme the first opportunity for the parties to enter a Revenue Sharing Agreement was 1 December 2018. The parties agreed the terms of the RSA however an administrative breakdown resulted in the RSA being incorrectly notified as 20 December 2018.

·        1 January 2020 to 2 August 2020 – Comment: The parties were unable to agree on the terms of the Revenue Sharing Agreement within the context of the CDS dispute which was running concurrently.”


The full agenda for the 9 September Council meeting referred to above can be found here;

6 thoughts on “Changing CCS to become Yarrila Place?

  1. On paper, in ever-changing plans, not one of the proposals put forward for the idea had the power to pull people from the existing highway, far less the by-pass.

    Imagine a family or couple or individual on the road. “Let’s go visit the civic spaces,” says a parent, or a partner. “I want to see the library, museum and art gallery,” says a child.

    “Please, Mum and Dad, can we go hang out in the community space?”

    “We don’t have a library, art gallery or museum where we live, kids,” they are answered. “Of course we’ll go. We’ll see what they look like. Sounds exciting!”

    Remember, the sales pitch justifying the building — setting aside that a sales pitch being needed is telling — includes visitation by it being a tourist attraction. (Why is that no longer forthcoming from council, not incidentally?}

    Twelve families per year was the pulling power I posited. That is the number of families, partners or individuals who have those specifics in their lives as a focus or dominant interest: gallery, museum and library. That, instead of heading off to the beach, or other natural amenity, for which they leave their abode to holiday. Outdated, now, due to covid and its variants; so the above is best-case scenario.

    You will get some people pulling off a highway or by-pass to visit an art gallery, though these are much more likely if an exhibition of note has been advertised, and those advertisements have reached them: a huge cost added. Some will have a look on spec; all of these are included in the number of twelve visitations above. Fewer will go to a musuem specifically, attracted from the road. Perhaps three or four.

    That’s the “pulling power” of the building, for travellers. That’s single-intent changed behaviour due to the facilities on offer.

    Now, council wants to call it “Yarrila Place”. Can anyone imagine the spend required to advertise that name, then associate it with the facilities on offer? . Millions, continually. And once that reach and name recognition has been established, and the association established, the result is the same: there’s not sufficient pulling power in the idea. The facilities just don’t have that unique or desired traveller’s appeal.

    So with advertising the result is a laugh, literally (try advertising it as an attraction), and without advertising the “pulling power” of the name, to meet the promises council has made and by which the idea is voted on, the building’s name evokes a cul-de-sac of quiet homes somewhere vague in the suburbs.

    A little lived cultural experience would have gone a long way, in this. Instead we have four Councillors who between them cannot lift a blade of grass of it. And wow oh wow it shows.

    It’s possibly the best example an LGA can have for how not to go about a project. You couldn’t realistically get a better, actual, “Don’t do it this way” lesson that a community could point to than this one.
    So on the positive side, the non-hilarious, there’s no way this thing can survive an insweep of new Councillors. It won’t be built.

    Please enjoy the difference to the above that a world-class cultural precinct achieves. Widely known by word of mouth, by association in media worldwide with Russell Crowe’s facilities, for free, (yep, no further cost!), where kids and families have the time of their lives.

    1. Great points 40c .
      But I beg to differ as I could see a large advertising billboard each side of town promoting ” KNIGHTMARE on YARRILA PLACE ” coming soon!

  2. Re the Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) and the Revenue Sharing Agreement (RSA) ….. info for the reporting of sharing for this year states the period 1 January to 30 June 2021 as being a “quarter”.

    So one other quarter than the one currently underway (1 Jul to 30 Sept) is also yet to be reported.

    I was gobsmacked to learn that daily penalties re Lipman and the Cultural and Civic Space are basically $20,000 per day. I am sure that somewhere, sometime at or since the last meeting, these were represented as being around $10,000 per day. Does anyone remember anything about this? Esp as to was it within the meeting? Am heartily sick of executive bending of the truth and “lies of omission”. Thing is they end up sometimes having to reveal such when something – like TCorp refusing to loan to CHCC over 30yrs, and Westpac doing the same – doesn’t go how they want and a motion for an item of business on an agenda necessarily has to show up the lie/s and lies of omission.

    Am willing to bet the way a loan “offer” from the Commonwealth Bank has been presented is in the same situation and that once the Bank gets to process a full and proper loan application it will go the same way as the Westpac “sure thing” did ……

    CCO Editor: We have been told the penalties for the CCS are $40,000 per day.

  3. As a lifetime supporter of cultural facilities, I support the cultural part of the CCS but soundly deplore the intrusion of Council Chambers/offices.
    As a grandparent, I surveyed five academically alert grandchildren, asking how often they accessed public library facilities? I was shocked by the response. The answer was “rarely”, because a large section of information is gleaned firstly from an excellent school library, and substantially via the internet.
    For generations, the world has flocked to public libraries as a great source of information. Do you remember the Encyclopaedia Salesmen of the 1950s, now an extinct species? It seems to me that the combination of excellent school libraries and the easily accessed information electronically that we may well be disappointed in the patronage of our new library.

  4. How about Coffs Harbour Information Centre and Art Gallery. This covers everything. Keep it simple, please.

    The fact that Coffs Harbour has not had an information centre for years is a disgrace.

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