Cul­tural precinct to go ahead

Coun­cil in favour of cul­tural precinct at ex­ist­ing cul­tural cen­tre site

Balonne Beacon - - NEWS - Laura Telford laura.telford@balon­nebea­con.com.au

AT A spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing held on Tues­day, coun­cil de­cided it would seek to build a cul­tural precinct as an ex­ten­sion of the ex­ist­ing cul­tural cen­tre in St Ge­orge.

The meet­ing was held to de­cide on a mo­tion to “pro­ceed with the cul­tural precinct, sub­ject to se­cur­ing ap­pro­pri­ate fund­ing” on the grounds that coun­cil di­rectly man­age the project, en­gage key stake­hold­ers and en­gage with the com­mu­nity when a con­cept had been de­cided upon. Cr Scriven sought to change the mo­tion.

“Coun­cil agrees to pro­ceed with the cul­tural precinct as an ex­ten­sion of the ex­ist­ing cul­tural cen­tre to in­cor­po­rate the li­brary and new art gallery sub­ject to se­cur­ing ap­pro­pri­ate fund­ing,” the amended mo­tion read.

The amend­ment was voted in favour, 4-3.

Mayor Richard Marsh ex­pressed his dis­ap­point­ment when Cr Scott Scriven sought to amend the mo­tion.

Dur­ing dis­cus­sions sur­round­ing the amended mo­tion, Cr Scriven said that the new word­ing was “more ac­cu­rate a def­i­ni­tion,” which “ex­plains more clearly” what the new precinct would in­clude. This was echoed by Cr O’Toole, who said that “the old mo­tion was not spe­cific enough.”

These claims, how­ever, were dis­puted by Cr Gaske and Cr Todd, who were in favour of the orig­i­nal mo­tion, with Cr Gaske ask­ing why coun­cil would want to limit the precinct to only in­clude a li­brary and art gallery.

Cr Todd said that a cul­tural precinct should in­clude a num­ber of cul­tural ar­eas. One topic of dis­cus­sion that was not ad­dressed in ei­ther mo­tion, was con­sul­ta­tion and co­or­di­na­tion with the In­dige­nous com­mu­nity re­gard­ing the $1.3 mil­lion in fund­ing that they were con­tribut­ing to the project.

In the end, the amended mo­tion was voted in favour of unan­i­mously.

“I only voted in favour as there are no other ways for­ward,” said Cr Marsh.

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