Protesters give project the tick prior to sale vote
Protesters in support of the Cultural and Civic Space outnumbered those against it, at tonight's Coffs Harbour City Council meeting.
It was a packed agenda - just one of the issues up for debate was the sale of a Council property at 169-171 Rose Avenue to help fund the $76.5m Gordon Street project.
An offer of $2,100,000 was on the table and Councillors voted to accept the offer.
Councillors who voted in favour of the sale were Michael Adendorff, Sally Townley, George Cecato and Denise Knight and those against were Keith Rhoades, Tegan Swan, Paul Amos and John Arkan.
Mayor Knight used her casting vote to progress with the sale.
It is one of four buildings in line to be sold to help fund the Cultural and Civic Space.
Recently Councillors decided not to proceed with the sale of the Coffs Harbour Museum which was also slated for sale.
Other properties up for sale are the Castle Street Administration Building and Rigby House.
The Advocate caught up with a number of the protesters to get their perspective on the project.
Mary, Arthur and Olivia Jamison.
13-year-old Olivia Jamison says she wants the Cultural and Civic Space to go ahead so she can have a nice place to meet with her friends in town. She grew up in London and when she moved to Coffs Harbour she was "shocked" with the poor quality of the "outdated" library.
Margaret England - "I have waited thirty years" for a facility like the Cultural and Civic Space.
Sylvia Nantier - "This is what the area needs. Prosperity and culture are synonymous."
Joshua Mackenzie - "It will be fantastic to have a modern building to be able to host culture and the arts."
Janet Besancon is an artist, originally from France, and has been living in the area for the past five years. She was there in support of the project with her four children and two of their friends. - "I prefer the arts over anything else. These days people are really receptive - very hungry - for it and we need more".
Sandra Duncan, moved to Coffs Harbour from Hobart - "We really need a new library...and we have to become more than Penrith by the sea."
There have been a number of protests and petitions against the project with George Partos an outspoken critic.
Jenny Bodsworth was protesting against the project - "Because I feel it is going to end up costing $100m"
In recent weeks early concept drawings of various spaces have been released including the children's library area and the roof top level with a large open section letting natural light in.
A determination on the DA was expected late last month but recently Planning Minister Rob Stokes announced he was asking the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for further advice based on the fact there had been a large number of public submissions (over 800).
The building will include a new library, regional gallery, museum and Council office spaces.