How many times has it been mentioned here that Cairns and Airlie Beach have spectacular lagoons and that our Rockpool doesn’t measure up? Now that Pure Projects reckons we need one, the council is to consult with the community to see if we should get one. Seriously?
Who else felt a little vindicated this week, and not just because George Pell has finally been called to account?
This week Pure Projects delivered their report with many revelations worthy of a Baby Boomer’s “Der”, a Gen X’s “D’oh!” or a Gen Y’s “Duh”; the first that the city needs an arts precinct. Both promised and dumped by successive councils, now this gaping hole in our city heart has been spotted, will anything happen?
Don’t count on it; despite the council vetoing the ongoing costs of renting theatre space in the privately developed arts precinct The Hive, Pure Projects have named it their preferred location for our arts hub, meanwhile, the council is awaiting another report, this from arts and cultural consultant Jennifer Bott on the viability of a new concert hall.
The money earmarked for the arts precinct was spent on the Civic Theatre, which is already booked to capacity. And it’s about to be out of action for a second roof repair on its second roof, built over the flawed first roof.
Save us all some money, council, YES, WE NEED A CONCERT HALL.
Then there’s the lagoon. How many times has it been mentioned here that Cairns and Airlie Beach have spectacular lagoons and that our Rockpool doesn’t measure up? Now that Pure Projects reckons we need one, the council is to consult with the community to see if we should get one. Seriously? YES WE NEED A LAGOON. Pure Projects also reckons there should be a ferry terminal in the city. Duh, we had one, not to mention the travesty of the Magnetic Island ferry landing moving from picturesque Picnic Bay to Nelly Bay’s supermarket carpark. Could Pure Projects influence a return to the welcoming beach frontage, and while they’re at it, suggest a small water taxi to ferry people from Palmer St across to the museum, and that anyone setting up tourist- friendly enterprises on the Strand or Castle Hill be given a fees amnesty and be spared council hoops and red tape?
Pure Projects also bemoaned the lack of adventure attractions for the Gen X and Y age groups. Defining ourselves as an industry and defence town has meant we have not only bypassed opportunities from the tourism sector, but we have allowed the tourism industry to bypass us.
The recent Census results listed Townsville’s dominant age group as Gen Y with nearly 16,000 people aged 20- 24. Backpackers that age consistently skip our city to head to those with more activities and atmosphere – the message is clear, lagoon it or lose it. Meanwhile our young demographic we don’t cater for continues to head to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and not for the traffic jams.
If Townsville Enterprise lobbied entities like the Whitehouse School of Fashion Design, Fox Movie studios or NIDA to set up regional offshoots here, harnessing the creativity of our youth would create the framework for the contemporary culture we lack, instead of creating an artificial soul with no support system. A mix of sports, industry, science, commerce, arts, culture and tourism would make us unstoppable. Now could we please at least start the bus hub?
HOW MANY TIMES HAS IT BEEN MENTIONED HERE THAT CAIRNS AND AIRLIE BEACH HAVE SPECTACULAR LAGOONS AND THAT OUR ROCKPOOL DOESN’T MEASURE UP?