LET’S LOOK AT THE FACTS. The Mayor of Coffs Harbour is CLUTCHING AT STRAWS!
By Jan Lindrum and Facebook contributors
Comparing the Shoalhaven Civic Centre to the proposed citadel in the cramped and congested Gordon Street as the Mayor did recently in an article in The Advocate, suggests she is more a supporter of City Hill than the proposed citadel she has voted to progress.
Shellharbour’s $60M civic centre incorporates what one might best describe as “CONVENTION SPACE”, two auditoriums, one that caters for 350 people, the other that caters for 170 people.
THOUGHT was clearly given to generating revenue from visiting and local conventions and creating employment opportunities.
Council generates revenue from leasing the cafe.
Council generates revenue from leasing out the convention spaces.
Catering, whether internal or external, generates employment opportunities.
The locale is attracting.
The locale has plenty of parking.
The locale is OUTSIDE the CBD.
Further, there are lots of restaurants and hotels on the South Coast and Wollongong is a stone’s throw away (tremendous University campus and incredible i-Accelerate campus that develops BID IDEAS). Novotel in Wollongong has been completely refurbished.
Tourist activities are well-co-ordinated. The city is connected by a free bus service. Beautiful beaches, marina and so on and, of course, Shellharbour is 1 hour and 46 minutes to the Sydney CBD so it is easy to attract conventions and the South Coast has an excellent train service connection to Sydney.
TOTALLY DIFFERENT SCENARIO, Mayor Knight.
Coffs Harbour DOES NOT have a population of 296,669 on its doorstep (Wollongong) and, whilst the flight to and from Coffs to Sydney is only 55 minutes, it is a far more expensive exercise to travel from Coffs to the Sydney CBD and vice versa.
Coffs has NO NEW HOTELS.
The CITY is disconnected as are the tourist activities.
Two or three further important points.
Wollongong has a PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE (the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre IPAC) which opened in 1988. IPAC comprises three performance spaces, a 515 seat IMB theatre, 234 seat Bruce Gordon Theatre and 80 sweat Bob Peat Studio (someone did some thinking about how to raise sponsorship for IPAC through NAMING RIGHTS).
WIN stadium has capacity for 23,000 people.
Shellharbour has Greater Union Cinemas as well as The Roo Theatre Company which caters for community theatre and it is an easy drive to Wollongong to attend professional performances at the Merrigong Theatre.
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT point to make here is that, whilst Coffs Harbour has a number of high profile dance/drama studios/academies/studios, the lack of professional performance space (versus community space, for example The Jetty Memorial Theatre), means that there is SCANT, if any, IMMERSION in professional performances unless parents/carers have the financial means to travel and accommodate in Sydney/Gold Coast/Brisbane. Thus, inspiration from teachers but no inspiration from watching professional performers in action.
This also says, COFFS HARBOUR is currently NOT in a position to offer incoming tourists a professional performing arts experience and this citadel, should it proceed, will rob future generations of a professional performing arts space other than one located within a Club environment which will be best suited to big band performances rather than the Russian ballet.
To proceed with the Gordon Street proposals would be LOGIC ABSENTIA.
Facebook commentator Al Beaujest states; ” Not wrong, a broader map of Shellharbour showing the ‘CBD” and their ‘Civic Centre’ shows just how far OUT of the CBD it is. Just because their Civic is across the road from a Shopping Complex does not put it in the CBD. Relate it to Coffs Harbour and it would be similar to building our “Civic Centre’ at Homebase and saying it is in the CBD as the PBP is across the road.”
The petition can now also be signed at the following new locations too;
Coramba General Store
Two Tails Winery Nana Glen
Beach Shop Woolgoolga
Sunset Caravan Park Woolgoolga
Other places to sign at can be found here: https://coffscoastoutlook.com.au/where-to-find-the-petition/