Coffs Harbour City Council's schematic design for the $76.5 million Civic and Cultural Centre. The building aspect from Riding Lane.
Coffs Harbour City Council's schematic design for the $76.5 million Civic and Cultural Centre. The building aspect from Riding Lane.

What's got the Coffs Coast talking?

Civic Centre had to be in the city centre

WHAT sort of town allocates land for an educational centre in the 1990s — a forward thinking one that values education, wants to keep its young people, wants to cut down the cost to parents by not having kids forced to live in major cities to get an education.

It is 2019 not the world of the 1950-90s and Coffs Harbour has moved on.

How many empty shops are there already? Yet some advocate more retail and commercial on the proposed site. We need a civic and library centre in the CBD, for ease of access and to encourage life back into the CBD.

Maria Nethercott

The people’s voice was not followed

I CAME away from (Thursday night’s) council meeting with an assortment of negative emotions. What kind of democratic process permits a council to refuse to acknowledge and even refute the overwhelming community sentiment regarding the current Cultural Centre plans? It looks like the only way to get the message across is to deny those councillors re-election

Lindsay Townsend

Youth will thank council for its action

CONGRATULATIONS Mayor Denise Knight and Coffs Harbour City Councillors now resolving to proceed with the Cultural and Civic Space Project.

Congratulations to the hundreds of staff and volunteers behind the scenes who worked tirelessly to help bring this project to life.

This is incredibly exciting for our city and a win for us all.

This project has been years (2015+) in the consultation, development, research and feasibility stages and our city has been decades in desperate need of these upgraded gallery, library, museum and multipurpose civic facilities for our creatives, our youth, our families, all of us locals and also our visitors.

As a creative and performing arts educator, member of several Coffs cultural advisory groups and local bred and raised, I researched the entire project deeply over the past two years.

I read the council reports and attended meetings that transparently detailed all aspects of why, where, when, how and how much — so that this project could responsibly come to fruition for the benefit of all.

This included reports on the commercial and social sense of co-locating all these facilities in one location in the heart of our CBD area.

Of selling assets and co-relocating council to assist funding such a venture, while freeing up developable land in the CBD to stimulate growth.

Coffs Harbour has borrowed hundreds of millions since 1999 (yes hundreds of millions) to fund our international stadium, our water system and sewer system and more.

We have managed this debt wisely and still our debt service ratio limit is only 0.79 per cent of a possible 20 per cent guided by the State Government.

Our council is capable of now responsibly delivering this wonderful, upgraded cultural and civic facility for us all, as well.

Over this past year, as council has undertaken the consultation process even more deeply, I have listened to so many youth and students share at multiple meetings and stakeholder gatherings of their educational and creative need for these upgraded multi-use facilities in the heart of our city, where arts and educational activities are championed, and where civic and cultural gatherings will be welcomed.

Congratulations to young Caitlin Zugajev from Coffs Harbour Senior College, who also stepped up to speak at a council meeting in support of this project for the youth and future youth of our city. Well done.

Congratulations, Coffs Harbour. Time to celebrate.

Cheryl Ward

Right move was to delay the planning

HOW disappointing for the majority of ratepayers of Coffs Harbour to be thought so little of by four of the councillors plus one with a casting vote.

Most people in the gallery were for a delay to the Gordon St building to see what the other options were for the cultural centre.

Surely the ratepayers of Coffs Harbour should have been notified with an information sheet in their rates notice to advise that the council intended to sell off four of the ratepayers’ properties (I say ratepayers as they are the ones whose money was used to purchased these and after all council should be working and looking after the ratepayers’ money interests) not in a newspaper or media outlet.

Not only this but I think few of us knew that in 2017 council allocated $75,000 to look into the feasibility of placing the centre on City Hill plus another option on Gordon Street.

Still no outcome and more than $60,000 still apparently left in the kitty.

Say Coffs Harbour Council was a reputable large company and the ratepayers of Coffs Harbour were the shareholders, there is no way that the shareholders would not have been notified and asked to vote on such an important matter.

Such as selling off the majority of the company’s assets to build one building with a costing of approximately $90,000,000 including interest payments, which is only a guesstimate.

Plus at what cost the cleaning and maintenance per year lumped on the shareholders?

If the board went ahead without shareholders’ approval those board members I feel sure would be removed from their board seats at the next general election meting.

The request was reasonable just a delay until all site information was made available.

Did I state no extra parking in Gordon St?

Christine Tyson

Good Samaritans save the day

ON THURSDAY I, 89 years old, had nasty fall in the Toormina Gardens carpark.

Departing motorists saw me hit the ground, stopped and came to my aid instantly.

I wish to thank these wonderfully caring people who would not leave me until I had convinced them that I was OK enough to walk to the medical centre.

Thanks also to the nurse who treated my abrasions immediately.

With all the badness and evil we hear of daily in the news, it is comforting to know there are real people out there who care for each other, even complete strangers.

I encountered some on Thursday.

John Mola

Government’s impact on homelessness

DURING Homelessness Australia’s Homelessness Week 2019, it was appropriate that we question this Federal Government’s controversial Big Australia policy.

There’s little doubt that the extreme nature of our population growth is maximising homelessness, housing unaffordabilty and the massive gulf between rich and poor.

You don’t have to walk very far in Coffs Harbour to see victims of this current mob of Canberra ratbags.

Ratbags that hold unsustainability high on a pedestal, because growth in a finite world is totally unsustainable.

With recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing no let-up in our catastrophic rate of national growth (with more than 400,000 extra again in 2018), and with local growth being out of control, the victims of this frenzy are part of a continually climbing toll.

Richie Tassicker

Impact of global warming on farmers

THIRTY years of scientific warnings about the dangers of global warming.

The National party, true conservatives, always have trouble accepting new information. Ignoring the matter, they’ve shuffled the research into a box marked “Culture Wars”.

Be damned. The people who are the pillars of their constituency, rural folk and farmers will be the worst effected as the ongoing breaking of heat records continues.

The big dry, as predicted, will drive folk from the land, food production will be seriously compromised. Here in Coffs Harbour, the newly elected Federal Member in his “vote for me” mail out, avoided mention of global warming.

It says so much for his and his party’s scientific literacy.

Coffs, and all low-lying coastal areas will be subject to sea level rises forcing millions to move. When will the Nationals admit they’ve been wrong?

Pride in mistaken beliefs, to the point of maintaining their fallacies is an earthly tragedy.

Warren Tindall

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