Dep Mayor celebrates, Singh says fight on
DEPUTY Mayor George Cecato is "not bothered" by MP Gurmesh Singh's calls to stop construction of the Cultural and Civic Space.
Before the approval of the development application had even been announced, Mr Singh was on local radio expressing his disappointment at the likelihood it would be given the green light.
He took the front foot again on Monday issuing a press release condemning the project before the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment or even the Coffs Harbour City Council had issued their own statements.
Mr Singh has suggested some form of plebiscite or public vote on the matter as he says the community feedback to his office over the last 18 months has been an overwhelming rejection of the $76.5m project.
He will continue to lobby the Minister of Local Government and Minister of Planning and Public Spaces to halt the build but admits he personally can't do anything to stop it.
"No, not me personally on my own, but the community could, through some kind of community led campaign."
Asked to clarify what form this would take, he suggested that some communities across the State have been pushing to bring Local Government elections forward.
The elections scheduled for September this year were postponed 12 months due to COVID-19.
"As long as the project goes on, the harder it is to stop, but there would be nothing stopping a new council from pausing the project."
Councillors have been divided four/four at a number of crucial votes on the project. One that has consistently voted in favour is Cr Cecato.
He didn't want to be drawn into a discussion about Mr Singh's recent comments and would only say: "I am not bothered by his comments. He is entitled to his opinion."
Instead, he was celebrating the approval, saying it was the best news Coffs Harbour has had in a very long time.
"I can't wait until we start building this and I can't wait until we start using it," Cr Cecato said.
"A long time was spent assessing this project - and it was with the Minister a long long time. It's one of the most highly scrutinised projects, so I am delighted it has been endorsed."