Perfex continues to lobby for a facility that is a vibrant ARTS hub where arts practitioners of all kinds have a place, want to be, can find facilities helpful to them there, and that is affordable for them.
MOST RECENT EVENTS (updated July 2019)
As well as direct lobbying, Perfex
- remains a member of the Mackay Park Sunset Committee,
- has sent in submissions on the proposal for a Performing Arts space at Mackay Park,
- has sent in a response to the Creative Arts Strategy and the Mackay Park Plan of Management;
- written a submission direct to the architects engaged for the project;
- contributed accepted ideas to the design principles;
- organised a presentation by the Council Arts and Library officers to the general Arts community on their theatre experience;
- presented at Council several times in relation to the project and its flow-on effects such as the possible disposal of the BBay Community Centre,
- organised a petition that garnered 1001 signatures (almost 10% of the local population) to keep the BBay Community Centre (presented to Council May 2019) and
- maintains an ongoing presence in the local media.
We also directly contribute to local arts, including the St Cecilia Youth Music Scholarship, and the local Photography club exhibition. We applaud and support Sculpture on the Clyde and River of Art in kind.
You can read more details of these submissions and recent activities in the History page on this site.
26th June 2019 Presentation and AGM: Notice sent
AGM: all members of the community are welcome to attend, whether members or not. At the meeting you may just listen, or join up and participate in any voting. It will be held at the Batemans Bay Community Centre on the Wednesday 26th June at 10am when all positions are vacated and re-elections held. Tea and nibbles will be provided.
We will be looking for extra committee members, especially those with web skills, media and business connections, a love of the Arts, organisational skills, community commitment and a passion to see the proposed Arts facility up and running well.
There will be a short presentation – an update and two life member awards – before the AGM – that will give the latest updates and insights that we have on the Mackay Park project.
We will also have raffle tickets on sale for a painting donated by Grace Paleg, our well known, award winning painter and committee member.
Performing Arts Centre – Mackay Park: History and Update by President Sue Mackenzie
In April 2016 the Eurobodalla Shire Council purchased the Batemans Bay Bowling Club and there was much excitement around the idea of adapting this building for use as a performance and exhibition space.
In 2016 PerfEx put in a submission for the continued use of the old Bowling club as an ongoing community Arts Centre. This idea was superseded by Council, making the site ‘Operational’ with a view to a PPP (public private partnership) for various commercial ideas. This did not eventuate either and the idea of a performing arts centre moved to being incorporated into an indoor pool leisure centre on the present Mackay Park swimming pool site.
In August 2017, a proposal with concept plans was released to the public. It was not met warmly. However, the idea of a Performance/Arts centre was welcomed. Grants were applied for and gained by Council; architects were engaged and three later concept plans were released. These were more readily received and wide feedback was given by the community.
In later 2019 we are expecting Concept ‘D’, the result of community and Council input to the three concept plans from NBRS architects and, if accepted, the project will begin in 2020. The entire project still includes an indoor aquatic centre and an Arts centre, though they may now be in different buildings, though on the same site.
This latter portion is, at June 2019, still in a state of flux in relation to its inclusions and core direction, with minimal visual Arts and exhibition spaces in the concept plans of 2019, a fixed, rather than flexible theatre area and changing inclusions in media as time passes.
Community centre overlaid on one of the recent concept plans (thanks to the Beagle) – when the floor plan of the Batemans Bay Community Centre is put next to one of the concept plans it is clear there is not much room for anything else. The GM assures us we have more seating in the proposed new centre, but it does not look like it! That is if they are going to duplicate or better what we already have, but why duplicate what we already have when $51 million can change the face of the Bay for the better??????
Batemans Bay Community Centre floorplan
Batemans Bay Community Centre floorplan beside one of concept plans released in Jan 2019.
There is a lot of confusion on what we are actually building re the MPark Arts Centre: It is clear the pool part is being designed as a recreation, not a sporting centre (an amusement park);
It’s not clear if the Arts section is to be
- A quasi community centre,
- a theatre centre (see Mayoral media release of Feb 2019 where there was NO mention of the visual or other arts than theatre and dance!)
- an arts centre
- an entertainment centre?
..’an arts and cultural centre with a large flexible, flat floor auditorium with retractable seating for up to 500 people, dressing rooms, green room and storage, gallery/exhibition space and storage, rehearsal/ dance studio/ music room, ‘wet’ arts workshop space and storage (for pottery, painting, etc), ‘dry’ arts workshop space and storage (for drawing, textiles, etc), meeting and multi-purpose rooms and amenities.’
In APRIL 2018: The Mayor, Cr Liz Innes released the following statement regarding State Government funding for a combined arts and aquatic centre:
“It’s a spectacular start. $26 million from the NSW government for our aquatic, arts and leisure centre at Mackay Park in Batemans Bay. …While the final design is months away, we do know the components we plan to provide. The arts area will offer a vibrant program of exhibitions and shows and a centre for local artists. Our focus will be on a quality space with the right configuration for a range of performance styles, with excellent lighting, sound and seating, along with a gallery area, rehearsal space and arts workshop rooms.’
Update on Batemans Bay Community Centre petition and Eurobodalla Shire Council meeting of May 28, 2019
Concerns were raised in early 2019 that the Batemans Bay Community Centre may be sold to fund the new Mackay Park Aquatic and Arts Centre ongoing operational costs. A petition was started in February 2019 to raise the profile of this issue and to inform ESC (Eurobodalla Shire Council) of people’s opinion on this potential move, i.e the result was a strong public opinion to keep the Batemans Bay Community Centre asset and its functions where it is. 1001 signatures were recorded, almost 10% of the resident population.
Q:Where will money come from for the facility’s operation and maintenance?”
A:‘The money will come from Council’s existing budgets. Detailed operating costs will depend on the final design. There is also potential for new income streams from the lease or sale of the existing community centre and visitor information centre to meet any increase in ongoing costs, as well as opportunities to progress the development of the former bowling club site (currently in use by NSW Roads and Maritime Services as a construction compound for the new Batemans Bay bridge).’
On the 28th May Councillor Mayne presented the petition put out by PerFex to keep the Batemans Bay Community Centre asset and its functions. There were several speakers to the petition (David MacLachlan, President of the Batemans Bay Chamber of Commerce; Alan Russell, CEO of Meals on Wheels and myself, Sue Mackenzie, as President of PerfEx) and time for extensions and questions were given to us. There was also quite an amount of discussion by the Councillors in their section of the meeting which indicated that they (appear to) at last be taking our concerns and point of view into consideration. However, there is no guarantee they will keep the centre. A motion was passed to defer such a decision until all the tender prices are in. When that will be, and what the parameters of the tender process are to be are yet to be decided. We are still in Nebulous Land, waiting for the mists to clear.
The presentations by myself, as President of Pefex, Alan Russell representing Meals on Wheels and David McLachlan representing the Chamber of Commerce in the Bay, and (partial) recording of Councillor Mayne in his ‘tabling’ speech, can be heard on the council website (though I find the Council website overall is very out of date in relation to almost anything to do with MackayPark!) http://www.esc.nsw.gov.au/inside-council/project-and-exhibitions/major-projects-and-works/batemans-bay-mackay-park-precinct-redevelopment-proposal) or at: https://www.beagleweekly.com.au/allthenews/page/2
You can also see various articles, points of view and comments from community on the Beagle site in relation to this issue. https://www.beagleweekly.com.au/single-post/2019/05/28/Is-Council-becoming-rattled--
Thanks to all who signed, wrote emails, comments and who turned up in support, either to the presentation of the petition to Councillor Mayne at the community Centre prior to it going to the admin section of Council, and then to the Council meeting for its presentation there. We are glad to see we are representing a real concern of the broader community and not just the ARTS.
One comment that was uncontested was that the council do not have a current, viable business plan (yet they have secured $51million from the government!) for the project. This is of ongoing concern.
It is also of concern that the descriptions of the inclusions, of the Arts Centre in particular, keep changing – from no mention of the Visual arts at all, to a recording studio; to only dance, rehearsal and theatre, changing theatre size and from flexible to fixed seating, and few meeting rooms. We are seeking to clarify this, as you can imagine.
Notes when presenting petition to Council re Batemans Bay Community Centre retention Eurobodalla Council meeting - 28th May 2019
My name is Dr Susan Mackenzie President of PerfEx Inc speaking on behalf of Perfex and the signatories to our petition. I am speaking to Item no: PET19/001
This petition - to retain and maintain the Batemans Bay Community Centre for ongoing general community use - includes 983 signatures. Many more people have been appalled to hear of the Community Centre being under jeopardy, and I continue to receive more petition sheets (show 2 extra pages). This petition represents just under 9% of the local area population or 6.2% of the wider Bay population area (by the 2016 census**).
Does the community want lose the present Community Centre in exchange for a pool and a theatre centre?
This petition suggests not.
Otium suggested the option of the disposal of the Community Centre and the tourism centre; Council accepted their proposal. Does the community agree to that trade?
This petition suggests not.We ask why you are going from a small family sedan to an SUV people mover so you can go camping twice a year, and then stop the kids playing local sport because you cannot afford the petrol to drive them there?
There seems some very short term thinking going on here.
What if the population, mostly above 60 and being active retirees engaged in the community, increases at the 18% rate predicted, and the Community Centre is gone? What then?
What legacy is being left to the next Council and the ones after that?
The Community Centre reaches the wider, nebulous demographic of the community; the pool and arts centre focusses on a sizeable but specific demographic.You have said: "We will not raise rates to pay for this centre. We made a commitment to that, and we won’t sacrifice any of the elements because this facility needs to cater to everyone in our community," the Mayor said. Council newsletter Jan 2019
Yet (dividing the community) that is precisely what you ARE doing.
We have already provided you with many practical reasons to keep and maintain the centre, including spreading traffic flow, public toilet accessibility away from the foreshore, affordability, access, etc
But as yet I have heard nothing from the Council other than to argue against keeping the CCentre, using the endless argument that it will increase costs to run four establishments – the pool centre, the arts centre, the tourist centre and the community centre.
How can you talk about costs when you have:
- an outdated business plan based on concepts plans that do not even exist any more;
- no final plan and
- projections of inclusions and costs that would exclude most of the community?
Council’s role is to provide for a viable, ongoing, inclusive community.
Now is the time to rethink the whole complex and the wider community impact, before anything is finally set in stone, and time to be more transparent with the community and its effects on them, now and into the future. This may require altering the aspirations of the Mackay Park facility. We understand that.
Like the Bowling Club, ostensibly bought ‘for the Community’ in 2016, and quickly made saleable to all and sundry by shifting it to ‘operational’ status, will we weep over an empty plot of land sold off for cheap, short-term gains, or hold onto this quiet, vital piece of community property, built, it should be remembered, from Community funds, not council ones?We therefore draw to the attention of the Council and Councillors, the representatives of the community, the community desire to retain the present Batemans Bay Community Centre along with the proposed Mackay Park Aquatic Centre and Theatre Arts complex and strongly assert our community voice to our representatives, to comply with this request.
We have $51 million. The Otium business case is well out of date and, as yet, the business case the grant applications were based on, has not been released. A business that sells off its assets to pay running costs of essential services is not a viable concern.
Council has told us that the money for the facility will come from Council’s existing budgets, i.e. from the budget of the $51 million, but now we are being told that does not include the ongoing maintenance and operational costs.BAS or the Moruya community were not required to give up a community asset. Nor should it be required of Mackay Park facility and the Batemans Bay community.
**“At the 2016 census, Batemans Bay had a population of 11,294, with surrounding communities including Long Beach, Maloneys Beach and the coastal fringe extending south to Rosedale bringing the total population of the urban area to 16,044”
On 1 April 2019 former member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis MP announced $25 million funding for the new centre from the Australian Government's Regional Growth Fund. The announcement follows the $26 million allocated by the NSW Government for the project in March 2018. PerfEx was not invited to the presentation but the following article appeared in The Beagle Weekly.
$25m from Federal Government confirmed for Mackay Park project
April 1, 2019
Federal Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis has today confirmed Federal funding of $25 million for the construction of the Regional Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Precinct at Mackay Park, Batemans Bay.
In making the announcement Mrs Sudmalis said the funding from the Regional Growth Fund which will leave no doubt about the long-awaited funding commitment.
Mrs Sudmalis said, "the project is great news for the region following a highly competitive assessment process that saw more than 300 applications being received from state, territory and local governments, businesses and not-for-profit organisations."
“The successful project will see the construction and fit out of a 25 metre 8-lane pool with ramp access, therapy pool and spa, gym and group fitness area as well as a café, 500-seat auditorium and a gallery and exhibition space.”
“This represents a significant boost for Batemans Bay and the Eurobodalla region and is a matched grant which was contributed by the NSW State Government through the advocacy of the Member for Bega, the Hon Andrew Constance,” Mrs Sudmalis said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the $272.2 million Regional Growth Fund provides grants of $10 million or more for major transformational projects that create regional jobs and support long-term economic growth.
This follows the April 2018 media release in which the Mayor, Cr Liz Innes, released the following statement regarding State Government funding for a combined arts and aquatic centre.
“It’s a spectacular start. $26 million from the NSW government for our aquatic, arts and leisure centre at Mackay Park in Batemans Bay. We’re now counting on the Federal government to pitch in, and we expect to hear the results of our funding submission by the middle of the year. In the meantime, we’re working to be as ready as we can to start building the centre after funding is secured.’
Also in April 2019, the architects, appointed to design the centre, NBRS, begin work on a final design (Concept ‘D’) after the community provided feedback on three concept layouts in January and February.
Petition On Wednesday the 24th April, at the Batemans Bay Community Centre a petition with some 1000 signatures to keep and maintain the Centre was handed over to Councilor Mayne for presentation to Eurobodalla Council. Some 30 members of the community came to demonstrate their support for this core community asset. This was the preliminary to the formal handover of the petition to Council on 28th May, as required for admin purposes.
Speech to Council 26th March 2019
In March 2019, Perfex gave a presentation to Council, raising concerns regarding the projected future of the BBay Community Centre. Below is the presentation by Perfex president, Dr Sue Mackenzie.
The Community Centre to ‘possibly be sold or leased’ …says Council
The Community Centre was opened on 30 June 1996 and has operated as a community centre since then (so we wonder when it became Operational land, why and how?).
It is a low profile but well supported and utilised asset in a quiet and accessible part of town with plenty of parking, is on ground level, with clean and safe public toilets, the only ones on this end of town, variable room sizes with variable uses, and a carpark easily sectioned off for markets and other events.
Its importance was amply demonstrated on the weekend when the mass of people going to the Concert in Mackay Park were in town and it was Polling Day. It would have been untenable and chaos to have the polling at Mackay Park on the same day as the concert, yet at the Community Centre it was quiet and orderly, with ample parking.
Losing the Community Centre is of great concern as the new proposed facility at MacKay Park does not appear to replicate or improve on the Community Centre, where there is a dividable hall, large and small meeting rooms, a rentable office and a commercial scale kitchen (relied on heavily by Meals on Wheels who will not be accommodated in the new centre), and flat surrounds.
- There is a youth café;
- dance classes;
- a food and crafts market;
- social outreach events,
- activity classes, and more..…
U3A, with its 600plus members, has several bookings a week there (including ad hoc talks and its registration day) and would happily have more if there were internet and wifi facilities. They have, along with at least one other organisation, asked to explore the possibility of leasing the venue outright (email to Mayor 22Feb 2019 from ross Thomas, President of BBayU3A).
The alternative council facilities (Mackay Park football pavilion, Malua Bay Hall and the Hanging Rock football/convention centre) do not have the same range of facilities in the one place and are quite isolated from other services and amenities, whereas the present community centre is near Baylink, the Govt Services office, Adult Ed, Katungal, the Museum, the carwash and has various commercial entities within easy walking distance.
I note too that this part of town badly needs people moving in and out to keep its vitality, especially now Target is closing down. With Dan Murphy’s moving in nearby, it is even more essential to discourage negative or alcohol related behaviour by making this a well-lit and active area.While it may seem premature to raise the topic of the fate of the BBay Community Centre before any concrete plans have been formulated for its disposal, and before community consultation has been pursued, we feel that it is urgent and essential that Council understand the value local residents give to this facility before proceeding to include its sale or lease in any negotiations or consideration in regards to the costings and updated business case for Mackay Park Indoor Aquatic and Arts Centre.
It is essential we have a locals’ Community Centre on the CBD side of the town, within walking distance of the town and major services; a locals’ precinct to complement the one in Mackay Park, not compete with it or be swallowed by it. One people can wander into…
As yet, we are not seeing an effort or inclination by Council to retain the Community Centre, built with funds raised by the community to replace an earlier community asset, and we request that you do so.
In fact, it appears Council’s focus is quite the opposite. In The Council response to QUESTION ON NOTICE by Councillor Mayne REPORT TO ORDINARY MEETING OF EUROBODALLA SHIRE COUNCIL, HELD ON TUESDAY 26 MARCH 2019 it states: ‘The BBCC is owned by Council and is located on operational land, meaning that it can be sold or leased should Council resolve to do so.”
Unfortunately, this implies Council would be willing and is able to do what it likes with the Centre without community approval or consultation, regardless of the fact they are elected to represent us, not the Council itself.
This statement could also be interpreted as a threat, or at the least, a heavy handed perspective in regard to the community you are there to represent.
The Mackay Park venture is not a stand-alone project, which many are unaware of.
In response to a question on notice by Councillor Mayne:
“Council has not made a decision to sell the existing BBCC. It has been identified that it could possibly be sold or leased, to offset construction and/or ongoing operational costs associated with the proposed Aquatics, Arts and Leisure Centre…..” Quotation from council response to QUESTION ON NOTICE REPORT TO ORDINARY MEETING OF EUROBODALLA SHIRE COUNCIL, HELD ON TUESDAY 26 MARCH 2019
Council staff have said that selling it was always an option and has been well publicised, yet few people seem to be aware that we are likely to lose this Community asset that spreads out our community resources across the town quite equitably. And is functional, useful and readily accessible.
Three concept plans for the new Mackay Park facility have recently been available for community consideration. However, in those concept plans we cannot see matching, let alone more meeting rooms, and there are limited and out of the way catering facilities.
No fee structure has been indicated to ensure community affordability. Nor were there any dimensions available on the concept plans to assess size and scale of rooms.
The Mackay Park proposed facility, magnificent as it is, and as wonderful as it is likely to be, appears to be focussed on ‘glamour’ activities and entertainment rather than on the pragmatic use for everyday community activities.
Moreover, the issue of a LOCALS accessible Community Centre on the major town population side and site, out of tourism traffic, is still to be resolved.
I am not alone in my concerns. A petition, supported by Perfex, and to be presented to Council in due course, has attracted several hundred signatures to date and many comments of encouragement have been received.
The bricklayer who built the centre was aghast; as was the woman who had her wedding reception there. Several young adults reflected on their time at the youth café and urged us to keep advocating to keep the Centre for youth’s sake. Indigenous folk bewailed losing a local centre for their kids.
‘112 community organisations’ used the Centre in 2018 and if there was wifi and good internet and electronic facilities it would be used even more.
Many people have come up to me to thank me for instigating this move because:
- They cannot see the need for the Centre to go and consider Council has not provided solid reasons or assessments to justify that view
- There is both a community fondness for the centre for its utility and its history, particularly as it was built by community fundraising and reflects a commitment to a central accessible site for locals.
I am often asked: Who ‘owns’ it and how will the community be compensated for their funds and good will as:
- Council gifted the land;
- Community raised the money for the building;
- Council staff and maintain it to serve council’s and community needs;
- Council receives the income of it…
We now ask:
- When was the site made ‘operational’ land and what were the details and dates of the community consultation process that agreed to that?
- What is the identified social impact of the proposed sale (not just monetary impact)?
- How will this be measured?
- How will it be measured against any alternatives?
- Why is the sale of the Centre necessary?
- What specific monetary impact will the sale of the Centre have on an updated Mackay Park business case?
There is also a rumour that council are considering moving the Museum to maximise saleability of the site. Could the community have clarification on this point please?Overall it would seem an ill- considered and regrettable move to try to move the activities and patrons of the BBAy Community Centre wholesale into the proposed Mackay Park facility or into other council buildings. We urge Council to keep, maintain and improve the Batemans Bay Community Centre, as part of an ongoing locals’ community precinct, along with the Museum, on its present site.
Rather than lose this facility, built by community funds, we would like to see the Community Centre remain and the area made into a locals community precinct. Ideally the whole blank area (BigW’s ?sites) would make a lovely Peoples Concourse, with cafes and shops under and plazas amongst attractive accommodation to bring vitality, beauty and ‘sharing space’ – something the Bay is very short of.
There is a growing perception that Council is leaning towards developers and tourists. This is unfortunate as they were elected to represent the local community, and so we are asking that it demonstrate a clear focus for the year-round community by keeping and maintaining this viable, accessible and affordable asset.
At times of breaking into the future, the glory of the new vision can narrow the vision while appearing to broaden it, and overshadow those who keep this town ticking over all year.
We need both the Batemans Bay Community Centre AND the proposed Mackay Park Indoor Aquatic Centre and Theatre/Arts Centre.
Dr Susan Mackenzie President Perfex Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org
A sample of community comments:
‘Given our very heavy dependence on the Community Centre and the limited range of affordable, suitable alternative venues for our activities in the Eurobodalla shire, what happens to the Centre is of key importance to us. And while I can understand that the option of selling the building may be an attractive way of raising revenue for the Council, I do not believe that this would outweigh the benefits to be gained by the local community by keeping it available for their use.’ Ross Thomas (President U3A)
..from the Beagle: https://www.beagleweekly.com.au/single-post/2019/02/13/Now-Council-are-proposing-an-International-Water-polo-pool-of-306m, from an indigenous contributor, says:
‘Does community sentiment count for nothing Councilors? It's not just the swimming community that is unhappy with the current plans - there are many, many others. What will happen with the youth café in the community centre for the Koori children? They will not be walking across the highway to a much smaller venue’. Please rethink. Aunty Ruth
‘I agree with you that we must keep the community centre. I was amazed to hear that they would sell off the centre as they haven't put into Mackay all that we thought would be there! Alan Russell Sunset Committee/ Meals on wheels’
‘The Community Centre is a valuable and well used asset. Our group dance there for three hours one day a week, and there are several other dance groups that use the hall. The well equipped kitchen is also well used. Meals on Wheels pack and distribute their meals from the centre and have a very large freezer room where they store their frozen meals. Where are they supposed to go? The meeting rooms are also well used, and there are also public toilets available. I think they are the only public toilets at that end of the town. Parking is never a problem. Why is this council so keen to destroy most of the public amenities in town? The 50 metre swimming pool, the mini golf, and now the Community Centre.’
... ‘It is not old. It is less than 25 years old and more than adequate to meet community needs. Needs that would most certainly not be met by the ridiculous new McKay Park facility that appears to disregard all community needs, least of all a 50m pool.’ Top cat
‘Councilors may well have voted but on what information was their decision arrived at? Where is the business case and the expert advice about aquatic and auditorium infrastructure along with the numbers to prove the decision was sound?’ Jeff de Jager
Ad hoc notes
$51 million is a hefty budget and, as yet, no updated business case has been made available to the public to test costings or practicality. The Otium ‘business case’ was touted as a concept plan business case, with no apparent revised business plan yet consolidated or available.
Though, ‘Council has engaged with a range of user groups of the BBCC (including the U3A) prior to the design stage and again in conjunction with NBRS Architecture to review the three concept plans’, requests for certain facilities such as suitable meeting rooms of a suitable number and format, related to submissions and feedback, have not been demonstrated in the three concept plans to date, especially in regards to ready access and a large usable kitchen, a decent sized gallery and arts cafe.
At a recent meeting with the Mayor and two senior staff, there seemed a stubborn resistance to keeping the Community Centre – maintaining it will add to the cost of running Mackay Park. However, as these are two separate enterprises, how is it that they are co-joined?
People from north of the River will drive past Mackay Park to access the Community Centre, as they do now. They may be the ones more likely to use the Mackay park facility, though they will have to cross highway traffic lanes and deal with high volume tourism traffic in holiday times, which are already creating distressing delays and congestion, to get there.
President of PerfEx, Sue Mackenzie and Ross Thomas, President of U3A, met with the Mayor, Liz Innes, the General Manager Catherine Dale and Lindsay Usher, Director responsible for the Mackay Park project. Below is her letter to the Mayor following that meeting.
Email to Mayor Liz Innes
Thanks for your time and attention yesterday.
I hope the discussion was helpful to you in conveying the depth of feeling users of the community centre feel and its role in ‘year-round community’.
Rather than lose this facility, built by community funds, we would like to see the Community Centre remain and the area made into a locals community precinct.
We/Perfex Inc are passionate about having a Centre that shows the strong Creative strand in the Batemans Bay Community and in no way oppose the idea of the Performing Arts Centre proposed for Mackay Park.
We just do not see why we have to lose the present Community Centre, which caters for such different (but overlapping) groups of people in the community, and is so much more accessible… and it was built by community fundraising!! (Peter Nielsen J.P. of Tuross was very involved with its creation and can give a fuller history)
The alternative council facilities (MackayPark football pavilion, Malua Bay hall and the Hanging Rock football/convention centre) do not have the same range of facilities in the one place and are quite isolated from other services, whereas the present community centre is near Baylink, the Govt Services office, Adult Ed, Katungal, the Museum, the carwash, cafes and various commercial entities within easy walking distance.
I note too that this part of town badly needs people moving in and out to keep its vitality, especially now Target is closing down. In my mind ideally the whole blank area (BigW’s ?sites) would make a lovely Peoples Concourse, with cafes and shops under and plazas, amongst nice second-story accommodation to bring vitality, beauty and ‘sharing space’ – something the Bay is very short of.
We look forward to seeing plans with dimensions to allow us to continue our discussion as to replicable space, but the issue of a LOCALLY accessible Community Centre is still to be resolved.
We hope Council demonstrates a clear focus for the year-round community rather than the perception of leaning towards developers and tourists as it seems to be now.
Dr Susan Mackenzie
In January 2019, Council invited ratepayers to comment on three concept plans for a Regional Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre at Mackay Park, Batemans Bay.
Here are links to the Regional Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre main page, the FAQs and concept plans provided by ESC.
Updates related to 2018 appear on the ‘History’ page of this site