Submission for: Coffs Harbour Cultural and Civic Space
KORORA, New South Wales
This is a total waste of ratepayer money. Council have more than adequate space for offices currently including one floor of Rigby House not being used and the new office space will only be 75% of the current office space. If they really wanted more floor space the current building was designed to accommodate an additional floor. The Art gallery can be relocated to City Hill along with the Museum and Performing Arts Centre and the Library then be expanded to take the space vacated by the Art Gallery. Council recently spent Millions acquiring the old Police Station and converting it to a Museum and now they want to include this in the Art Gallery space at the new centre. This development does not contain the Performing Arts which has been talked about for years until just recently when it has been dropped from the "cultural space". Council will not achieve the prices they estimate for the buildings they want to sell off and the amount of loan required will exceed that amount advertised by many millions.
This council has been a poor manager of finances for many years and the introduction of the "Coastal Works" services replacing the old Council service team has not been outlined to the ratepayers. Council purchased ebikes for staff to use around the city and gave each staff member a full day of training and the bikes have never been used but have quietly disappeared. The millions of dollars lost in finance scams has never been divulged. They are apparently attempting to tame over the Botanic Gardens from the trust and volunteers to gain the large amount of money in their account.
The major is currently spending thousands of rate payer dollars with publicity on the cultural centre for which over 13000 people have signed a petition requesting the project be put on hold and further investigated and at the meeting to discuss this the mayor used her casting vote to vote that the project go ahead contrary to the vast number of ratepayers who were misled regarding this project. Approximately 600 at a public meeting one cold winter night and a record crowd at the council meeting discussing the proposal. Coffs Harbour does not need this monstrosity of a building and can not afford the $80 million plus loan required to build, furnish and move all offices, museum and art gallery in to it in addition to the expensive maintenance costs on the building.
We need the council to remain at their current location. A Performing Arts Centre built at City Hill along with a new Museum and Art Gallery and the Library expanded to include the vacated Art Gallery.
Coffs Harbour Council need to be removed from office and an administrator appointed to check the finances and approvals over the past several years .
The mayor and some of the Councillors are not listening to the rate payers of Coffs Harbour.