Two separate motions opposed to progressing with the Cultural and Civic Space will be discussed at this week's council meeting.
Two separate motions opposed to progressing with the Cultural and Civic Space will be discussed at this week's council meeting.

Councillors continue efforts to pause Gordon St project

TWO separate motions from Coffs Harbour City Councillors opposed to progressing with the Cultural and Civic Space will be discussed at this week's council meeting.

Four councillors have consistently voted against progressing with the $76.5m CBD project in its current form. They are Councillors Tegan Swan, Paul Amos, Keith Rhoades and John Arkan.

And this week Crs Swan and Amos will continue their fight.

Deputy mayor Cr Swan is calling for a three-month pause for council to undertake a new round of community consultation to assess community expectation in relation to cultural and civic facilities required across the local government area.

"We currently have an engaged community and the opportunity to embrace and listen to that or to push on and further fracture the relationship and public perception of Coffs Harbour City Council," she said.

Cr Swan has criticised the previous rounds of community consultation in relation to the project and says that this time it should be 'more accessible and easily comprehendible'.

RELATED: Tegan Swan takes to social media to improve communication.

Cr Swan says the motion is not about stopping the project but about assessing current desires and expectations and taking them into consideration moving forward.

"Following this period, the new information will be measured against the existing parameters of the project to determine any changed which may or may not need to be undertaken before the project continued to proceed."

 

Councillors including Tegan Swan and Paul Amos (at far right) have been split on proceeding with the project
Councillors including Tegan Swan and Paul Amos (at far right) have been split on proceeding with the project

Cr Paul Amos, who has warned that costs could blow out to as much as $100m, will raise a separate motion on Thursday calling on council to commission a qualified, independent consultant to undertake a poll/survey relating to community satisfaction around the evolution and progression of the project.

"That poll is to be a targeted, demographically sound, random, telephone poll that samples enrolled voters over 18," Mr Amos outlines.

"The poll should have a confidence level of 99 per cent and results presented to councillors as soon as completed, prior to being formally presented to council at the first meeting of 2020."

He wants the following questions to be included in the poll:

  • Do you support larger art gallery facilities
  • Do you support larger library facilities
  • Do you support upgraded council office facilities?
  • Are you aware of what is proposed in the Civic and Cultural Space project?
  • Do you support the Civic and Cultural Space project as proposed ? if not, why not and what changes could be made to gain your support ?
  • When did you become aware of the functions that would be provided within the Civic and Cultural Space building...greater than one year ago, six months ago, only recently, still don't know.

Both motions will be up for consideration at this Thursday's council meeting at 5pm at council chambers in Castle Street. Members of the public are welcome to attend.