They will all be in a lawn cemetery
By BELINDA F SCOTT
ISABEL Murphy says Coffs Harbour's senior citizens are being blamed for holding up work on a seniors centre, when it is the council's fault.
The secretary of the Coffs Harbour Senior Citizens Club addressed Thursday's Coffs Harbour City Council meeting on the club's concerns about plans for the centre, including the five changes of location; council's '12 years of procrastinating' and a new and unwelcome suggestion that seniors be temporarily housed in a tin shed at the showground.
Mrs Murphy drew a line in the sand, saying the club had now resolved to stay in Cavanbah Hall until a new Seniors and Multipurpose Centre was built close to the corner of Earl St and Harbour Drive.
"We are being blamed for the delay in the construction of the Senior Citizens and Multifunction Centre,' Mrs Murphy said.
"Apparently the holdup is because we, the seniors, can't make up our minds where we want to be located.
"What a nonsense and unfair statement for anyone to make.
"We have never been given the opportunity to change our minds.
"Our minds have been changed by this council."
Mrs Murphy said council had vetoed the seniors' original choice of 218 Harbour Drive on the grounds a multi-storey building was not viable, so they had then chosen the corner of Harbour Drive and Earl Street, but were told this was to be used for the water feature in the 'grandiose' plan for Brelsford Park.
She said council had then allocated the corner of Curacoa and Albany streets, which seniors had reluctantly accepted as inevitable, before being offered and accepting a site facing Earl Street near the present Brelsford Park grandstand.
She said there had been no further information on that offer, but the next suggestion was that Cavanbah Hall be demolished and replaced with a seniors centre, with seniors club activities relocated during construction to the Norm Jordan Pavilion.
Mrs Murphy said petitions, demonstrations, lobbying and discussions over three years had failed to produce action.
"During the last council election campaign, Cr Hogbin said: 'we shouldn't put the seniors in the concrete jungle, we should put them in park land'. "If you councillors delay this project any longer the current seniors will be in park land, they will all be in a lawn cemetery."