Coffs Coast community launches campaign to ‘Save the C’

Red-C Events provided the opportunity to perform through the pandemic for local bands like Phat Tracta.

 

RED-C Events have aired their disappointment at the decision to re-tender their business premises at short notice despite struggling through the challenges of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.

A ‘Save the C’ campaign was launched as supporters rallied around the popular music venue on the Jordan Esplanade with the social media post being shared 108 times.

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A statement from RED-C Events provided more details.

“After 3 years of hard work building a community based, not for profit events centre at the southern Harbour site, RED-C Events Centre is now required to re-tender for the building despite surviving COVID-19 Lockdowns and restrictions which have lasted for more than half the current tenure.

“In order to continue making bookings for concerts, weddings and other events we asked for an extension of the Licence Agreement (lease) with Council some time ago.

“It is now clear that it will be many years before the Crown Land site is developed, and we were hoping that the business would be allowed to continue providing benefits to the community until that time.”

For many local bands, RED-C Events has provided a lifeline to continue their craft through the pandemic as Phat Tracta singer/guitarist, Scott Anlezark explained.

“It’s disappointing that the Council isn’t willing to help support local bands and local music as Red-C is one of the only local venues that have supported us during this COVID-19 period.

“We all need to get behind these guys to try and save this venue from being closed by Council,” said Scott.

RED-C Events were surprised expressions of interest would open as soon as 3 September 2021.

“After asking months ago for an extension, we were given some requirements to meet prior to the application being considered.

“We were assured that senior Council staff would be making the decision on the Licence extension and that it did not have to go to a Council Meeting.

“We were then given a further list of works to complete which we have responded to.

“Then, on Tuesday, (last week) we were informed that the Licence extension would now have to go to tender and calls for expressions of interest would be advertised today.

“Despite being severely restricted by COVID regulations, which reduced our capacity by over 70%, we have only received one 50% rent reduction in one quarter from Council after several requests, with the rent actually increasing by 20% during COVID.

“Despite our attempts at an early resolution in extending our tenure which expires in mid-September, Council has now resolved that the expressions of interest will close on 3 September.”

RED-C Events have asked the NSW Government and Council for a longer tenure and urged to keep the building for the use of the community.

“We call on the NSW Government and Coffs Harbour City Council to either provide a longer tenure for RED-C Events to continue its important input into the community or provide confirmation that this site will be developed for community use, not retirement units.

“We have organised a petition to that effect, available at RED-C and on our website www.redc.org.au.

“We ask all our supporters and patrons to please sign and make known to Council and the NSW Government your wishes.

“As we will not know if or when our extension request may be granted, we will be organising a ‘Potential Last Hurrah’ early September, so stay tuned for more details of that event.”

 

By David WIGLEY

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