shari

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - Shari Tagli­abue fol­low Shari on Twit­ter at www. twit­ter. com/ shar­itags

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?

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