Go back to community on hall plans
Dear Editor, Berrigan Shire Council now has the completed plans for the proposed redevelopment of the Finley School of Arts building, but at the moment BSC is not allowing any public viewing of these plans and it has refused to provide any updates on the development of these plans since the concept known as option 3 was adopted over 12 months ago.
The general public, user groups and even the current 355 volunteer management committee of Finley War Memorial and School of Arts halls have been completely excluded from the process.
Some time ago the committee detailed several concerns and formally notified council of its decision to oppose option 3.
Council has not addressed any of those concerns, let alone entered into any dialogue with the committee related to that notification.
In the public interest I believe we should demand that council determines an exhibition and public consultation period of no less than three months, allowing any interested groups and individuals to fully acquaint themselves with the completed plans and support or oppose the proposal, either in part or entirely.
Genuinely open formal discussion would not only allow user groups and individuals to inform council of their concerns and request changes, it would clear up once and for all what community expectations are before any Development Application is lodged.
I have requested the council provide me with evidence of any disadvantage this would create, or any statutory obligation that council would breach in providing for this period of consultation. As yet I have no reply.
I have been very critical of option 3 from its inception, however I am more than happy to accept and support the broader community view if they favour option 3.
But they must first be provided with all the relevant information, a genuine opportunity to express their views and have council listen and act according to their expectations. Yours etc, Dean Russell Finley