OPINION: We already had a ‘Cultural Hub’

DEAR News Of The Area,

RHONDA Davies in the NOTA on 7 October points out that a significant sum of public funding will have been spent on the Library Extension Project.

The latest estimated figure is $5 million.

News is that the project will be delivering an exciting new ‘Cultural Hub’ for the Nambucca Heads community.

Sadly there has been no recognition by Nambucca Valley Council or our councillors that over the last 30 years many organisers of cultural events had built up a very vibrant cultural hub on this very site which due to the project has been curtailed and which may well be difficult to resurrect.

On average there were 70 bookings per month for the NCAC halls and gallery by community groups before the project was launched.

We had a successful concert programme, music mornings and live theatre on the site. It is impossible to guess how many of these events will resume.

Many groups have found venues elsewhere.

It’s a sad fact that some local cultural events organisers have now turned to the Bellingen Shire to find suitable venues for their music concerts.

There are good reasons for this.

Due to the planned landscaping of the courtyard and lack of vehicular access, future concerts and music mornings on the Nambucca Community and Arts Centre site will be difficult to organise.

There will be no off road parking space for musicians to offload their equipment and park their touring vehicles and nowhere for minibuses for the disabled to organise their passengers.

Ridge Street gets busier year on year and some organisers feel that the proposed on-street loading zone is not a safe option for access by crowds of concert goers or groups of musicians.

In all it will be a renovation that no doubt will look very attractive and will give the library more space but in practical terms will present problems for stage events in the Main Hall.

A successful performance venue requires safe access and parking and sadly this is not possible with this particular developmental design.

It will be very interesting to see what this new ‘cultural hub’ delivers for our community. We have lost much and Rhonda Davies is correct in saying that this renovation plan is not what most members of our community supported and hoped for when they made their written submissions to council and attended public meetings in the months before the project commenced.

It seems that public consultation counts for little when final decisions are made.

Marlene GRIFFIN,
Valla Beach.

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