“Council’s executive has gone too far”

By Rob Trezise of Coffs Coast News and Views

GUEST EDITORIAL

We here at Coffs Coast News and Views are at times criticised for polarising people around the Coffs Coast for our support of opponents to the Coffs Harbour City Council’s Civic Space project for a number of reasons.

The issue is undoubtedly a divisive one and while we believe that the majority of our community do not support the Council in the way it has pressed on with the Gordon Street C&C project, despite all the evidence mounting that it shouldn’t, we are seeing a few of the council’s supporters, while minuscule in number, becoming more offensive and abusive (only by a small number we might add) towards those who do not agree with their point of view.

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How the proposed Gordon Street C&C might look

We have had to in some instances block these people from our pages despite warnings for them to desist.

Last Thursday’s Council meeting has reinforced our view that the Council’s executive has gone beyond what their role is in OUR City’s Governance.

We support Two Tails Wines and their battle to run their business like any other.

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Madonna Bannerman of Two Tails Winery and Restaurant with her 2018 NSW Business Chamber Regional Business of the Year award.

We support Cr. Tegan Swan and rather than have her face an investigation, we would welcome a thorough independent audit of the Council’s finances and operations, particularly the Planning Department.

The awarding of the rights to sell off OUR Council properties announced last week, raises questions as to the probity of how the agents have been appointed and under what terms.

The full facts must be made known to our community.

We must state now that the reckless awarding of building contracts for the C&C Space as per last Thursday’s motions, can only cause financial grief to ratepayers and our city’s long term prosperity into the future, particularly given the current financial and health crisis we are faced with as Covid19 takes its toll across the world.

We on the Coffs Coast will not be immune from it’s effects.

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Cr Tegan Swan

We call upon all readers to give their support to calls for the Council to take a step back at this time to place a hold on any contracts involving the sell-off of its properties, plus contracts to demolish and build on the Gordon Street site.

We call upon the General Manager to abandon the persecution of Councillor Swan.

All Councillors must be permitted to run our Council, and we remind the General Manager, he is a servant of the ratepayers not the “President” of our city.

Our community is raising its voice, is united and it will not stop until the next elections in September if the Council continues on its current dysfunctional and undemocratic path.

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First published at Coffs Coast News and Views Facebook page – Sunday March 15 2020. – Pictures supplied.

8 thoughts on ““Council’s executive has gone too far”

  1. I fully agree with your statements on the way the council is railroading our community to think that what they want is what we will get no matter what. I am ready to stand up and be counted as one who does not agree with the Civic centre.

  2. Thanks Rob. You present a considered, balanced, moderately expressed summation of the situation.

    This is something which the “Advocates for Advancement Coffs Harbour” appear to be unable to do.

  3. I feel the continuation of the Gordon Street development is needed more now than ever. Many will be employed in the demolition of the present buildings, sale of council properties followed by the development of new buildings along with the cultural project. History has proven infrastructure after a crisis has kept the country going.

    1. I doubt that many would disagree with you in principle, Marie. Equally, I doubt that many would argue against the construction of a building to house a new art gallery, library, museum and perhaps a performance space.

      I believe that most people object to the inclusion of administrative offices in such a complex, when it would probably be cheaper, and just as beneficial, to extend the current admin building, as was envisioned when that structure was first planned.

      I further suggest that objections can be raised to the inappropriate Gordon St. location and, further, to council’s undemocratic behaviour as it rams its proposals through, despite having no building approval.

  4. Marie Moran : Yes you are welcome with your opinion , but let me point out the country as you put it are not going to pay for this over the top building.

    We the CHCC rate payer will be paying for it and it is clear this City and all of this Country and other Country’s are in for a rough financial time ahead. So we would expect our leaders to take care when spending large amounts of money on unnecessary infrastructure such as this. 

  5. Councillor Swan is allegedly running on a ticket for re election with the owner of Two Tails Wines hence the alleged investigation called Council may have asked for by ICAC?

    Editors note: Amended slightly due to legal advice.

  6. Hi Marie,
    I can’t agree with your comments on this.
    Firstly, the people continually employed, as the Mayor states, is 31.
    Is this more or less than the number of people currently employed?
    The sale of the 4 buildings, $20,000,000.
    I don’t think so.
    The demolition of the buildings, here nor there.
    And, the contractors engaged in the build?
    Well, that’s another story.

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