Coffs Coast Business, Local, Opinion/Comment

Mayor’s comparison of Gordon Street with Shellharbour like “comparing apples with prickly pears”


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.

The Shellharbour Civic Center is about as close to the city centre as Park Beach Plaza and Homebase is to ours


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.

The Dybells at Park Beach Plaza whipping up signatures for the 10K+ petition today

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.

Ros Dybell displays new 10K+ petition signatures at Park Beach Plaza today

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:


  1. Ros Dybell informs Outlook today that the petition has garnered “close to 700 signatures in 24 hours” at Park Beach Plaza

  2. If it wasn’t a serious matter for the whole LGA, the misrepresentations that Council and the Mayor persist in dribbling out would be comical. I cannot recall any statement the Mayor or General Manager has publicly made that could not or has not been refuted or shown to be telling only a partial story (that suits their objectives).
    This suggests they are beyond comprehending the concepts of transparency and probity.

    Well done Jan and the other contributors. It is helpful for the community to understand they are being drip fed information by Council and in all instances the full truth is not told.

  3. Mayor Denial Denise Knight will be attending a Women in Government Conference at Shell Harbour Civic Centre (I have been told ) in the near Future .
    What annoys me is that not that long ago ….Mayor Knight and the Councillors
    Went too Wollongong for a paid conference ….and did not bother to travel 30 mins south to Shell Harbour and see what was built for $60 million and where it is was built .

    They went too Geelong instead. On Current Affair recently it showed the problems with crime and what is happening in Geelong CBD. It’s a Failure!!!

    Now Knight Mayor is trying too compare Shell Harbour to Coffs Harbour.

    This women has NO IDEA and lives in BUBBLE …..which is about too burst …..with what is happening with her electorate that are OUTRAGED with her ARROGANCE & IGNORANCE !!!!

    Cr. Sally Townley ….who lives in Bellingen …. What a disappointment you are. I Just listened to your interview with Moffee Triple M today. Pathetic!!!!

    The GM Steve McGrath on Prime 7 news last night saying we have followed the correct procedure …….78 written submissions …..and at the end of the Audio Council Meeting July 26th Steve McGrath says ” You have to be Joking”…” That is a Breach of Protocol” as the Fab 4 walked out of the meeting too a loud round of Applause!!!!

    This Council is a Circus…..but it’s no laughing matter. Bring in ICAC and the Administrators NOW!!!!

    Regards Max

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