Local, Politics

Friends of the Gallery urge Council to ‘be brave’and vote for Gordon Street.

The Friends of the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery are urging residents to voice their support for the new Cultural & Civic Space to be voted on by Council this Thursday 11th July.

The vote is the critical next step in progressing the proposed building which will include a new regional gallery, library, museum and centralised council facilities. With an overarching theme of ‘All Welcome’ the Cultural & Civic Space aims to create a more vibrant and active City Centre.  Community consultation on the draft schematic design has been completed and feedback will be considered by council prior to the vote on Thursday.

Heather McKinnon, President of Friends of the Gallery

“This is a cultural infrastructure project that is well overdue,” says Heather McKinnon, President of the Friends, who has been leading the charge for adequate facilities for years.

“We have 10,000 children in this local government area under the age of 10 and they are expected to use a 1 metre by 1 metre square in the council library. Our museum does not meet the minimum space requirements for local school excursions. If we are to improve education outcomes we need a good solid investment in cultural infrastructure.”

Heather warns residents not to rely on recent criticisms by Councillor Paul Amos.

“The argument by one councillor is fear-mongering and the nay-sayers are now focused on the alleged lack of competency of the council to complete this project,” says Heather who points out numerous major projects undertaken by council including flood mitigation, sewerage works and upgrades to the airport and international stadium.

“All these projects have been managed competently by one of the most highly skilled councils in regional NSW. This project will be no different; it’s been planned properly and lead by professionals.”

Heather explains key supporters of the project include the Coffs Chamber of Commerce, Southern Cross University and the Cex Group. She says these organisations understand the immediate benefits of stimulating building, jobs and spending while boosting tourism and services to the community longer term.

“Our community needs to draw together to support the brave council who are about to vote on this crucial development for a stronger Coffs Harbour,” adds Heather.

The above is a press release from the Friends of the Gallery – Thursday 4 July 2019.


Disclaimer: The above does not necessarily represent the views of the Coffs Coast Outlook on this issue but is published so as to present ‘the other side of the story‘. Our editorial on this issue, which has generated a record number of comments for this site, can be found here: https://coffscoastoutlook.com.au/the-proposed-cultural-and-civic-centre-councillor-amos-speaks-sense/

5 Comments

  1. Gabrielle Brabander

    It’s easy to be brave when it is someone else’s money you are spending !!!
    The line between bravery and foolishness is tenuous. True courage requires asking difficult questions; great leadership encourages debate. Excellent leadership is not afraid to change tack for the best outcome. There is still time for Council to revisit plans, recalibrate and re-focus this project.

  2. “Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed.”

  3. Friends of Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery

    Thank you for publishing Coffs Coast Outlook!
    The Council report and agenda for Thursday’s vote has just been released and the public can view it via the link below. With regards to the extensive public consultation sought during May, the report states, “Overall written feedback was 51% positive and supportive of the project, 23% neutral, suggestions or unrelated & 26% opposed to the project in part or its entirety.” https://infocouncil.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/…/CO_20190711_A…
    Residents can lend their voice of support to the project by emailing their local councillors and the council meeting is open to the public at 5pm on Thursday 11th July at the Council Chambers.
    Contact details for Councillors: https://www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/…/Pag…/Councillors_.aspx
    For more information on the project and links to the design visit: https://haveyoursay.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/cultural-and-civic-space

  4. Rob Trezise

    The Friends of The Gallery engaged a PR firm to write their publicity and Press Releases in support of the Gordon Street project. It has not been disclosed as far as I know in this story, and in view of transparency I think it should be.
    FOG members raise funds, accept donations with a view of purchasing art works for the gallery, not to pay professional wordsmiths to support a Council planning on spending $86 + million on a building for the benefit of a vert small percentage of the community, yet give no support of any case against the site being located on City Hill. There are quite a few FOG members not happy with this. Disclaimer : I am a member of the Friends Of The Gallery.

  5. Friends of Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery

    Thank you for publishing Coffs Coast Outlook!
    The Council report and agenda for Thursday’s vote has just been released and the public can view it via the link below. With regards to the extensive public consultation sought during May, the report states, “Overall written feedback was 51% positive and supportive of the project, 23% neutral, suggestions or unrelated & 26% opposed to the project in part or its entirety.” https://infocouncil.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/…/CO_20190711_A…
    Residents can lend their voice of support to the project by emailing their local councillors and the council meeting is open to the public at 5pm on Thursday 11th July at the Council Chambers.
    Contact details for Councillors: https://www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/…/Pag…/Councillors_.aspx
    For more information on the project and links to the design visit: https://haveyoursay.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/cultural-and-civic-space

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