Comment on Coffs cultural committees

A NEW structure that aims to broaden the focus of Coffs Harbour City Council's cultural committees will be on display for public comment from today until January 9, 2009.

“Further cultural development is a key approach contained in both Council's social and economic strategies,” said Jenni Eakins, Council's Community Services Manager. “Specifically, it is at the heart of our aims to enhance the liveability of the region, promote the creative industries and increase job opportunities.

“So taking a broader viewpoint with the cultural committees - to look at developing the various sectors of the arts, rather than limiting the focus to specific venues - will more closely reflect the overall approach,” she said.

The proposed structure is the result of consultation with ten other councils, five community workshops, discussions with current members of Council's cultural committees and submissions from the general public via Council's website.

“The concept being put forward for comment is very similar to the existing system of advisory committees that we already have in place,” said Ms Eakins. “The main difference is in relation to the need to broaden the roles of the committees which have traditionally had a specific venue focus. The proposed structure aims to give them more of a strategic approach - helping develop community participation in areas such as performing arts or visual arts,” she said.

“This will allow for a wide range of ideas to be put forward, from a wider cross-section of the whole community, into Council's strategic planning for cultural, facility and industry development. So we are hoping for comment from people from all sectors of the community,” she said.

The concept suggests the formation of three committees and one sub-committee that will include Councillors and community representatives, nominated and elected by their peers. In addition, it is suggested that relevant Council staff and ex-officio members are also included.

A document outlining the proposed new structure will be available at Council's Main Administrative Centre, local libraries and online at www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au. A report on the submissions received will then be brought back to Council in February.

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