Coffs Harbour?s Jetty Memorial Theatre has become so busy amateur and professional groups compete for the stage.
Coffs Harbour?s Jetty Memorial Theatre has become so busy amateur and professional groups compete for the stage.

Looking at the high cost of our culture

By BELINDA SCOTT

CULTURE, in the broadest sense, does better than people might expect in the Coffs Harbour City Council's current budget, if the current management plan is to be believed.

The management plan for the current 2004-2005 year shows operating expenses for the council's sports unit, which includes all sports, but not swimming pools, is $1.81 million and the budget for community development, which includes theatres, art galleries and libraries, is $1.870 million.

But after income is subtracted, the net cost is $910,600 for sport and $1.7 million for community development.

This includes the budget for the Jetty Theatre, the Coffs Harbour City Gallery, and the Bunker Cartoon Gallery as well as community halls. The operating expenses for the Jetty Theatre are listed as $110,000 in 2004-2005, rising to $113,000 a year for 2005-06 and $116,000 in 2006-07.

Revenue is estimated at $53,000 this year.

This budget, tracking the expected operating expenses of the theatre since its major renovation, contrast with the budget for the theatre in 2003-2004, before its renovation and the change to council ownership, which was $30,000.

These costs compare with $129,000 for the City Art Gallery, with no income budgeted and $50,000 for the Bunker Cartoon Gallery, which is managed by a separate body under a similar structure to the Jetty Theatre before its renovation.



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