The Coffs Harbour City Council meeting discussing the future of the proposed $76.5 million Cultural and Civic Space development.
The Coffs Harbour City Council meeting discussing the future of the proposed $76.5 million Cultural and Civic Space development.

What’s got the Coffs Coast talking?

Age has nothing to do with culture

THE recent business with Coffs Harbour Council and building development has highlighted several trends which I find very depressing.

Firstly, there has been, what can only be described as, derogatory comments directed at protesters and their age. I feel slighted by such comments.

I have spent a lifetime learning and acquiring wisdom, only now to be discounted as a whinging pensioner or some other 'non progressive.'

My protest is based on learning and hindsight, which unfortunately has escaped the proponents of the building project.

Secondly, I have given concerns about the consultation process or the consultative group that has been involved in the preliminary work.

Regardless of the enthusiasm and possible experience they may bring to the process, such a small group can hardly be representative of the community.

The deliberations of the group and any reports they may have made were never well broadcast.

From the scant information concerning the group and its formation, I can only gather that it was formed be volunteers with a specific interest, perhaps even vested interest.

It appears that present day developments must have a consultative process in place. Unfortunately, there is no way to ensure that these processes are no more than 'lip service' to the law of consultation.

Port Macquarie's recent revelation that consultation on a new road system only occurred after the plans had been finalised, certified and adopted.

Other recent consultative processes in the Coffs Area, have been no better.

The design of the foreshores terracing, out sourced to Sydney, is a windblown disaster. The Bonville nature area to the south has also been put into the hands of some overpaid Sydneysiders to complete consultation without any understanding or empathy for the region. Finally, the need for a new administrative building has never been established.

A bigger and better gallery and library would be nice if it was somewhere where access was easier, not in the middle of the fractured CBD.

As for an entertainment centre, the jury is still out on the community's need.

Sydney recently got rid of a 10,000 seat entertainment centre.

Local productions are well served by the intimacy of the Jetty Theatre and if larger venues are required, the education campus has the facilities and the parking.

Ken Buckley,

Coffs Harbour

QAGOMA. Picture: Facebook
QAGOMA. Picture: Facebook

Realise the tourist potential of art

ART brings tourists. In Brisbane the QLD gallery and GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) attract 2-3 million visitors. A good gallery provides income possibilities for local artists but gives visitors a deeper Coffs Harbour experience.

Peter Lewis

The site of the proposed Cultural and Civic Space in Gordon St.
The site of the proposed Cultural and Civic Space in Gordon St. TREVOR VEALE

Think big and think better Coffs Harbour

CITIZENS of Coffs Harbour need to be aware that some of the support for the "revitalisation of our CBD" with the Cultural and Civic Space development in Gordon St comes from those who hope that by so doing, then City Hill will be preserved as a green lung for the city and a koala habitat.

However, there are several problems with this and some exciting alternatives. Firstly it is simply unrealistic to expect that 27 hectares of prime elevated land so close to our CBD (just 1000m) will remain forever undeveloped. There is no reason that a staged development of City Hill as a cultural hub with performing arts, art gallery, museum etc. could not be undertaken preserving as much of its natural vegetation as possible. And we could plant 2, 6 or 10 trees elsewhere in the city for every one that has to be taken down on City Hill. Why not start planting now?

One excellent place to start planting trees would be in an avenue along Harbour Drive or Albany Street that would link the CBD with the cultural hub on City Hill. Make this a combined pedestrian, cycle and vehicle boulevard and extend this to the Jetty, University and Stadium (hundreds more trees!). Then provide bikes and scooters for the agile and electric golf carts for the not so able. Some people might even choose to walk! We have a wonderful climate and environment. Facilities like this would encourage healthy exercise outdoors and cultural enrichment indoors.

As for the koalas, sadly, research has shown that they do not always move in the corridors that we design for them. The reality is that City Hill is not a very safe place for them to be. Koalas need to be encouraged into a Great Koala National Park as far from traffic and dogs as possible. That is another visionary possibility that our city, its citizens and our elected representatives could endow if given the appropriate stimulus and support. And it might even attract as many visitors to our city as a new art gallery.

Max Brinsmead, Korora

How the proposed $76.5 million Cultural and Civic Space would look.
How the proposed $76.5 million Cultural and Civic Space would look. CHCC

Civic centre means no space for parking

I HAVE tried to keep my ear to the ground by listening and reading about views on the proposed civic space. Coffs Harbour City Council have their reasons. Some say the aesthetics will enhance the CBD, others speak of the all-in-one cultural focus it will create.

There are some valid reasons for comment, however not one has really focussed on the plain fact that there is 'No parking plan' to support this.

Mark Linney, Toormina

Sydney's iconic Opera House.
Sydney's iconic Opera House.

Opera House and the Coffs Civic Space

I THINK the Opera House and the Coffs Harbour Cultural and Civic Space could be compared as similar, if only the council could run a lottery to pay for it, as I remember that is how the Opera House was paid for.

Mike Kelly

The current Coffs Harbour Regional Art Gallery in Rigby House.
The current Coffs Harbour Regional Art Gallery in Rigby House. Trevor Veale

The community engagement is high

THERE's been lots of good comments and lively debate.

However, the crux of the proposal is the site and whether it's fit for its purpose.

Naively we trusted our elected councillors to deliver the Cultural Space we needed and asked for a library, art gallery and performance space?

Jackie England,

Coffs Harbour

Reader reverts to a train analogy.
Reader reverts to a train analogy.

There's a lot on the line here Coffs

IT IS with great interest that I read Simon Young's letter in the Advocate dated July 31.

I wholeheartedly agree with 100% of what was stated.

I will now go on to tell you of a rail journey that I've just undertaken.

It started in Coffs Harbour on the XPT the time and date are immaterial, but the journey was first to Casino (average speed 71kmh). A coach then took us to Roma St Station due to track work no trains running.

Then an hour's wait to proceed to Roma St station to catch the Overlander to Longreach.

Now the distance from Roma St to Longreach is 1325km, which according to the timetable should take 25 hours (if on time).

Now if one was to divide the above numbers the answer would come out at 56kmh.

I must admit that this answer included all stops.

So in conclusion if Japan has a bullet train then we only have a water pistol.

A rather sorry tale.

So can we stick to our existing council chambers until we can afford something not so grandiose.

Tony Boulton

Performing arts is a must for new centre

ON the radio the mayor said that "the people of Coffs Harbour have been waiting 25 years for this (New Council Chambers, Art Gallery and Library)"

Silly me! I thought that we have been waiting 25 years for a Performing Arts Centre.

Catherine Peck, Sandy Beach

Coffs Harbour aerial.
Coffs Harbour aerial. Trevor Veale

Delaying this project is for the greater good

I AGREE with comments made by Bill Palmer on the cultural development.

The flat area between Hogbin Drive and City Hill is a much better location.

Parking would be much easier and I am certain the bus company will provide a service too. As a frequent user of the library I find parking at the current location very difficult during the week. Parking in the city centre is already crowded all the time.

I applaud Bill's comments and wish he was still on the council.

Linda Jones



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