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.
“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/