Spending millions we don’t have on glorified Council offices we don’t need is an affront to those on ‘Struggle Street’

According to The Coffs Coast Advocate, Coffs Harbour recorded the second highest housing price rise, in the past 6 months in Australia.

By Rodger Pryce

Whilst our Council suggests Development Approvals are on the rise, there does need to be an urgent proactive approach to increasing the housing supply.

Increasing house prices is a real danger sign, in my professional opinion. The high demand, rapidly increasing prices, is creating an ever widening gap between those that have and those that haven’t.

The solution is not necessarily a State or a Federal Government problem.

There are large tracts of land zoned residential within the Coffs Harbour LGA, these areas need to be ‘activated’ especially where sewer and water is not available, to allow the developers to connect to, at not a small fee, I might add.

I have in my head, a battle going on. I have the suggestion from the Council executive that one of the advantages of placing the proposed Cultural and Civic Space on the Gordon Street site is so that the property can be ‘activated’.

It can be activated so that the Council executive and some of the indoor staff can enjoy the luxury of new offices, together with a new library, art gallery, a ‘cultural centre’.

Then also in my head, is the knowledge of how rapidly increasing house prices and rents, places an unbelievable pressure on those who struggle to get a roof over their heads, those young people who are saving hard to get into the market, only to find the dream gets further and further away from them.

There is a great divide and it is right here in Coffs Harbour.

My upbringing was full of struggle, I can relate, I do understand. My business for many years, managed more rentals than anyone else in Coffs Harbour, so I know where the life struggles are.

There is a vote tonight to spend upwards of $80 million, maybe even $100m on the provision of facilities, that are not of an urgent nature, that will benefit the privileged.

The strugglers will miss out.

Council’s GM earns way more than $1000 a day! He is recommending to the Councillors, that he and his executive spend $10’s of millions of dollars on a non essential building.

Where is the compassion, where is the understanding, where is the intelligence, where is the caring?

There is a massive crisis in Coffs Harbour that is going to get way, way worse than what it is and you guys are saying we want to spend in the way of debt, a massive amount when people can’t afford to house themselves?

Those who are recommending this project need to hang your heads in shame. You are an elitist pack of uncaring individuals, turning your backs on members of your community that need your help.

Spend some money, put some services in areas that need sewer and water so that land can be released, houses can be built, relieve the housing pressure.

Don’t hide behind this being a State/Federal issue, when you have acres of land that needs to be released.

Be kind, be understanding, embrace the total community. Don’t pander to those who earn a shitload of money and are securely employed.

What about the others, ? The strugglers?

House prices will continue to escalate, houses will be sold to those who have the most money, pushing out those that are less fortunate.

Our Mayor and others who are in their own homes are seriously out of touch. “

Come with us” says our Mayor, “get out of the ’80s and ’90s” she said.

Try telling that to tenants who are being forced out of their homes because of rising rents.

What a disgrace, what an embarrassment.

_________

First published at the Coffs Coast Independent News Facebook page – Thursday 25 February 2021. Republished with permission.

3 thoughts on “Spending millions we don’t have on glorified Council offices we don’t need is an affront to those on ‘Struggle Street’

  1. An excellent article. I am very afraid that these words will fall on the deaf ears of the Mayor and that if there is a fifty/fifty vote she will again use a casting vote. With Council elections just over six months away the present Councillors should not commit the incoming Councillors to such expense.

  2. Oh come on Rodger!

    How could you be so naive to accuse the ‘fab four’ on council making these monumentous decisions on our behalf, as being “out of touch”?

    They’ve all been exposed to ‘Struggle Street’ as they look out the window while driving past in their luxury vehicles on their way to their homes in the better parts of town, feeling smug that they’re either a lawyer, retired millionaire businessman, a pampered doctor’s wife, a successful business owner, or a senior executive feasting gluttonously on ratepayer toil.

    Why should these people have to suffer without luxury office accommodation, or an exclusive roof garden where they can celebrate their achievements after slurping chardonnay at the latest exhibition at the Art Gallery downstairs with their ‘friends’?

    Why should such important people have to be bothered with those less fortunate than themselves above their own needs?

    How on earth could you have a problem with that?

  3. Our citizens will have their day. Heads will roll on September 4, confirming that ‘pride comes before a fall’. Cock’s-of-the-walk become feather dusters – and no one will even notice.
    Mark this tragic day when our CCS began its journey to become swallowed up as administrative space. Of course other new structures will be erected for the displaced. This goal has been in train since 2018 in my opinion!
    But across the road on Carroll’s Creek where our homeless are encamped, those in poverty will be the benefactors. After all they can watch this wonderful ego monument to our Council staff. They can sit outside this wonderful attraction with their begging bowl greeting the estimated 400,000 visitors each year.

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