Minister to hear Civic Space concerns first-hand
The Minister for Local Government will hear first-hand about the concerns surrounding the proposed Cultural and Civic Space.
The meeting with Minister Shelley Hancock has been locked in for 9am tomorrow at NSW Parliament.
Those attending with be Ann Leonard from Citizens Voice, businessman Steve Gooley, former Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser and sitting member Gurmesh Singh.
Citizens Voice is the group behind the petition to put a halt to the proposed $76.5 million CBD project.
The petition, on reaching the required 10,000 signatures, has already been tabled by Mr Singh. It currently has 13,5000 signatures and is scheduled to be debated in NSW Parliament at the end of next month.
Ms Leonard says she is the grassroots representative in the delegation meeting the Minister tomorrow.
"Our time will be limited but I want to make the most of my time," Ms Leonard said.
"I want to be true to the people who have come forward during the time we've been collecting signatures and experess their concerns."
She is also keen to get a better understanding of the extent of the Minister's powers in relation to halting the process.
Mr Fraser is calling on the Office of Local Government or the Auditor General to conduct a full audit of the process behind the proposal.
"We need a handbrake on this and a full financial audit," Mr Fraser said.
"I've had engineers tell me the project could blow out to as much as $120 million."
The Cultural and Civic Space will include a regional gallery, library, museum, meeting rooms and cafe along with council offices. It's the council office space and lack of performing arts centre that has attracted much of the opposition.
"The community does not have a permanent arts centre and the community has made it very clear they don't want the C.ex Club to have control of any proposed entertainment or performing arts centre," Ms Leonard said.
"They want it to be a public facility."
At a Coffs Harbour City Council meeting in early July John Rafferty, CEO of the C.ex Group revealed his plans in this regard.
"It's with the State government at the moment and there's some confidentiality around that so I can't say much more than that," Mr Rafferty said at the time.