Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight has defended the proposed new Art Gallery and Library in Gordon Street.
Speaking on Triple M this morning, Cr Knight told Moffee, the feedback from the public is great.
“I know there’s been a lot of talk about this from one particular person. However, this is something that is needed in a city our size,” she said.
It follows criticism a fortnight ago from Coffs Harbour State MP Andrew Fraser, who described the project as a civic space thinly disguised as new council chambers.
Three concept designs have been released for community consultation, allowing locals to have their say on the designs.
The Mayor said the current library is only 40% of the size recommended by the NSW State Library, while it also lacks a dedicated HSC study area.
She also made reference to a new library and art gallery benefiting our region, saying, “if you look at our NAPLAN scores, they are quite low”.
Cr Knight described the working conditions for council staff as “pretty poor”, saying that “when we did the plans, we thought, well why don’t we just add a civic space in there, to just add to it”.
“Council can stay in the building they are in, except, they are falling apart”.
According to the Mayor, the civic space including new council chambers and offices were never kept a secret, saying that in the level of local government, they are not allowed to hide things.
“They may do it in other levels, but we’re not allow to do it in local government”, Cr Knight said.
When quizzed about why a performing arts or entertainment centre was not included, in this project, Cr Knight told Moffee that plans are in place.
“Just so you get it hot off the press Moffee, there is a concept for an entertainment centre. That’s actually all I can tell you”.
Listen to the chat about the Civic Space and New Library and Art Gallery here: