Letter to the Editor - December 10: Arts deserve worthy site

I HEAR a lot of negative huffing and puffing in connection with the proposed rate rise and in particular the entertainment centre. It would be naive to think that rates won't rise like everything else with or without an entertainment centre.

Meanwhile, talented young sportspeople in Coffs Harbour have the opportunity to watch elite players in our state-of-the-art sports facilities. Imagine being expected to watch important soccer/rugby matches in the Recital Hall of the Sydney Opera House. Unthinkable? Yet it is considered perfectly acceptable by some for touring opera companies to perform in an indoor sports complex.

Coffs Harbour has no shortage of young people who excel in the performing arts, none of whom has the chance to see a full strength orchestra or dance company in their home town, not to mention a large scale music theatre performance.

Yet advanced students routinely audition for places in tertiary performing arts institutions with no real idea of the world they aspire to, never having had the benefit of these experiences. At the present time large companies bypass Coffs Harbour in favour of Port Macquarie and Grafton, both of which have adequate facilities.

Come on, Coffs, an entertainment centre is much more than a posh venue where dowagers can show off their diamonds and furs. Besides, performers and their entourage of technicians, roadies etc all need to be fed and accommodated locally, and that's before a visiting audience is considered.

Margaret England



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