The shire’s ratepayers will spend a further $21,500 on consulting fees, after the Eurobodalla Shire Council voted to prepare another site plan for Mackay Park.
The Batemans Bay Mackay Park Sunset Committee requested the extra plan after seeing a preliminary concept on May 3.
The proposal would separate the arts and cultural facility from the aquatic and recreation centre, moving it to the north of the precinct. The council will then compare the costs of the two options.
Sunset Committee member Jeannie Brewer addressed the public forum before the council meeting on Tuesday, May 23.
For relatively little cost we should have the comparison.- Jeannie Brewer
Ms Brewer said the performing arts were a major revenue earner for the shire. She said last year’s River of Art alone brought $3.5 million into the shire.
“The correct decision today will ensure the vibrancy of our community well into the future,” Ms Brewer said.
Ms Brewer said the need to at least consider the option of physically separating arts from sports was a “no brainer”.
“For relatively little cost we should have the comparison,” she said.
Ms Brewer said the arts scene in the Eurobodalla was the envy of other shires and required a “potentially iconic, stand-alone building”.
“I believe the Eurobodalla is on the cusp of something great. We have a critical mass of creative, visionary and capable people.”
A motion to support the additional plan was forwarded by Councillor Maureen Nathan and seconded by Cr Anthony Mayne before being approved by all councillors present, although some may have been swayed by Ms Brewer’s address.
Cr McGinlay told the chamber he originally intended to vote against spending money on further plans but changed his mind after hearing Ms Brewer’s advocacy.
“Thanks to our guest speaker, (the option) is one worth taking,” he said.
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