Theatre claims re­futed

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By ROSANNA CAN­DLER

THE City of Su­bi­aco made no at­tempt to con­tact the Re­gal Theatre Foun­da­tion be­fore cir­cu­lat­ing in­cor­rect in­for­ma­tion about its op­er­a­tion and own­er­ship, ac­cord­ing to Foun­da­tion chair­man Richard Dig­gins.

At an April meet­ing, coun­cil­lors de­ferred com­mit­ting the City to be­com­ing the first com­mer­cial spon­sor of the theatre’s on­go­ing $10 mil­lion restora­tion pro­gram.

Mr Dig­gins, a for­mer Su­bi­aco mayor, spoke at a coun­cil meet­ing last month to “re­fute claims” that the Foun­da­tion was a pri­vate en­ter­prise and clar­ify that it re­ceived a $500,000 grant for its restora­tion, not $1.8 mil­lion.

“The Re­gal Theatre is owned by the peo­ple, and the Foun­da­tion is the trustee,” he said.

In de­bat­ing the staff rec­om­men­da­tion to do­nate $100,000 to the Foun­da­tion, Cr Lee Hem­s­ley said the theatre was an or­gan­i­sa­tion wor­thy of sup­port.

“At a time when football is leav­ing, we re­ally need to sup­port or­gan­i­sa­tions that bring life and vi­tal­ity to our city,” Cr Hem­s­ley said.

Cr Mur­ray Rowe pro­posed an al­ter­nate mo­tion that the City con­sider a loan struc­ture of about $500,000.

“It (pro­posed do­na­tion) has an im­pact on bud­get­ing, and this sys­tem in­sists on keep­ing our bud­get down,” he said.

Coun­cil de­ferred the mat­ter to its July round of meet­ings.

“We have the Re­gal Theatre’s re­quest and our draft bud­get be­fore us crash­ing into each other,” Cr Mark Burns said.

“It is not the right evening to make this de­ci­sion.”

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