Letter to the Editor - Wednesday, July 2: Make it a winner

ANN Leonard's plea to reconsider City Hill for a multipurpose entertainment and cultural centre will likely run hard against existing planning bureaucracy and strong opposition from CBD businesses.

But might not a wider concept be considered to focus on making an entertainment centre not be the annual loss-creating venture that all existing plans have foreshadowed?

Why not build it as part of a convention centre, an enterprise focused on bringing thousands of people to Coffs annually for repeated visits.

Make the enterprise profit-creating, and not begin from such a negative position of accepting large losses to a community, most of whom would not even want to, or be able to afford to, visit an entertainment centre.

Surely our chamber of commerce and our tourism association could put their heads together and work with council staff engaged in the entertainment centre planning to rethink and redesign an economic loss creator into a plan to help Coffs grow and prosper, as well as culturally develop. Business and culture don't need to be separated and opposed in focus.

And why on earth not reconsider City Hill? It was a free gift of land to Coffs from the Dept of Lands, but a covenant on the land title prohibited it for use other than for cultural purposes. A total waste of a prominent site if we don't use it for its only allowable purpose. A quality architect could make us a wonderful new focus centre from such a site. Remember what the Sydney Opera House did for Bennelong Point. And for Sydney.

A convention centre as part of a cultural centre combining an entertainment venue could add the missing link. And make real use of our free land gift.

Profit and city growth. Not economic loss and mediocrity in design and position.

Wake up Coffs leaders. Think beyond parochial mediocrity. And harmonise business and cultural people resources to kick-start us into a new and fresh next stage of social and economic development.

RON VAGG



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