Ratepayers to rally against $76.5 million development
THE Citizens' Voice Group will stage a public forum to address community concerns over the proposed Cultural and Civic Space development.
The group calling for a halt to Coffs Harbour City Council's $76.5 million plans, which would see a new council administration office built inside the cultural amenity, will meet at Cavanbah Centre, Harbour Dr, on Tuesday at 6.30pm.
The project's development application is currently on public exhibition and is open to submissions until October 30.
The petition opposing the Gordon St development has been tabled in State Parliament for debate in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, October 24.
"We are all focused on improved arts and cultural facilities for our community," Coffs Harbour Arts Council president Ann Leonard said.
"But we need to ensure all of the community's needs are addressed in this project in the most effective and financially responsible way possible."
The group in opposition to Coffs Harbour City Council's plan, led by former Coffs MP Andrew Fraser, has assessed the development application, which is set to proceed to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for consent.
Staunch opponent, local businessman Steve Gooley said he was concerned council would be unable to attract State and Federal government assistance for the project, given it includes a council administration building and council chambers.
Mr Gooley said council's claims that it was still chasing funding possibilities were 'rubbish' and he would oppose the current project regardless of where it was located.
"The fact that no performance space is included in the proposal is one of the greatest disappointments to the community," Mr Gooley said.
"Council are now seeking to borrow $40 million to make this happen, this will be a financial albatross on the shoulders of generations of Coffs Harbour ratepayers to come.
"With the petition now having reached 15,000 plus signatures or over a third of Coffs voting population Citizens Voice has restated the community's desire for increased and improved library facilities, increased gallery space and a performance space."
Submissions can be made at planningportal.nsw.gov.au/major, application number SSD-10300 or write to the department, GPO Box 39, Sydney, NSW, 2001 before October 30.