Local, Politics

At least 730 objections to Cultural Centre/new Council Chambers sent to Planning Minister

The Citizens Voice group’s fight to pause the development of a Cultural and Civic Space in Coffs Harbour’s Gordon Street will be taken to the state’s Planning Minister, Rob Stokes tomorrow.

More than 700 letters will be sent to Mr Stokes (pictured below) tomorrow asking him to allow a full public hearing before the Independent Planning Commission into the $76.5 million dollar project before any DA is approved.

NSW Planning Minister, Rob Stokes

The roughly 730 letters don’t include any objections that may have been sent directly to the Minister via email or uploaded on the internet.

The Local Government Minister, Shelley Hancock has ruled out intervening to pause the council development, saying there’s no evidence the council breached its statutory obligations.

Outlook stories about this can be found here; https://coffscoastoutlook.com.au/government-responds-to-15000-signature-petition-on-cultural-centre-new-council-chambers/

and here too;

https://coffscoastoutlook.com.au/ticking-boxes-doesnt-cut-the-mustard/

Tell us what you think – should the project be paused or allowed to go ahead as planned?

Updated with new figures 4.30 p.m. AEST 29-10-2019

6 Comments

  1. Major projects with more than 25 objectors are typically determined by the Independent Planning Commission or its predecessor the Planning Assessment Commission, usually following a public hearing.
    “Major projects require full public access to the detailed case with decisions being made by transparent and independent processes, not by ministers behind closed doors,”

  2. Neville mc Donald

    Consultations have always been a joke ,they use it as a cop out so they can say but we consulted the people what they don’t say is that they will do as they have planned anyway ,it is just a sham

  3. Warren Sankey

    So Archibald Prize winning artist Ben Quilty backs the Mayor “all the way for a proper [art] gallery” (Coffs Coast Advocate Oct. 30). I wonder if his sponsorship to speak at the fundraiser by the ‘Friends of Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery’ had any influence on his thinking and whether he was fully apprised of all of the facts surrounding the Gordon Street proposal before making this statement?

    Can the community rely completely on how issues surrounding this subject are reported anymore, or do such claims deserve closer scrutiny? Ben Quilty’s reported comments raise the following questions:

    1. Did Ben specifically say he backed the Cultural and Civic Space per se` as the CCA headline reported or was he just promoting the arts in general with his reported statement?

    2. Was Ben informed that the ‘Cultural and Civic Space’ will be predominately a council administration building and as such will not qualify for any funding by way of government grants to construct and maintain?

    3. Was Ben made aware that most of those opposed to the Gordon Street development are equally as passionate about expanding the art gallery, library and museum but would rather, if they need to be co-located, that they be incorporated in a building with a performing art space and not an appendage to council headquarters?

    4. Was Ben aware before ‘backing the mayor all the way’ that those opposed to the Gordon Street development just want all other options explored before committing to a badly planned, expensive building in the squalor of the city centre?

    Without answers to these fundamental questions everyone should treat the report on page 3 of today’s CCA as just more fake news.

    • Well said indeed Warren.

      Without an understanding as to whether Ben Quilty understood and appreciated the points you made the story in today’s CCA (also known as the CHCC Pravda) is just so much one-sided drivel.

      And that is something that is becoming the norm in the News Ltd owned CCA these days unfortunately in my opinion.

    • Warren Sankey

      A copy of my comment above was forwarded to CCA Letters with a footnote that it will be test of CCA’s integrity as to whether it is published or not. I’m taking bets if anyone’s interested.

  4. The Ben Quilty suspect ‘endorsement’ of the Gordon St proposal, as reported in the Advocate today, just shows how desperate this ‘tricky minority’ has become. As the tactics employed by this mob are exposed and criticism widens even further, they will eventually be forced to recant. Surely, with so many opponents they cannot possibly hold them all in contempt? Their current stand is simply untennable and they should heed Gurmesh Singh’s advice and pause the project NOW if for nothing more than to save face.

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