Query over table tennis in museum

COFFS Harbour’s Over 50s Table Tennis Club will move into the city’s old museum in Harbour Drive when its post-flood refurbishment is complete.

The club’s use of the building will be reviewed after December.

The building has been unused since it was flooded more than a metre deep in 2009 and its refurbishments are being paid for by natural disaster funding.

The shift from history to table tennis was raised as a question without notice by Cr Denise Knight at the March 10 council meeting.

At Thursday’s council meeting, Cr Jenny Bonfield asked what was the decision-making process; what other community groups were interested in the space; why did this group top the list, and why was it not brought before the full council?

The director of corporate business Craig Milburn said table tennis had about 200 players; had been looking for a venue for about 20 years and had met the mayor and council staff in early 2010 to ask for help in finding premises.

He said it was not referred to the councillors as it was a purely operational matter, but had been referred to the executive team; the centre area not occupied by table tennis could be hired out as a meeting room when not in use and the lighthouse lantern would remain and be suitably screened to prevent damage, but in a way it could still be viewed ‘when necessary’.

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