Protesters will be back for more
PROTESTERS will again gather outside Council chambers this week to express their opposition to the Cultural and Civic Space.
A group of approximately 12 protesters held up signs and called out to Councillors as they walked in to their October 8 meeting and they plan to do it all again this Thursday.
One of the main instigators of the recent round of protests is Goerge Partos.
Last month he took the drastic action of burning his rates notice outside Coffs Harbour City Council chambers.
He calls the Gordon Street project a "colossal waste" of ratepayers' money and believes the vast majority of the community is against it, particularly now with the economic impacts of COVID-19.
The building, estimated to cost $76.5m, will include a new library, art gallery and Council offices.
"I'm not against the cultural side of it, but I am totally against the inclusion of council offices and we don't even get an entertainment centre so that makes it even worse," Mr Partos said.
Mr Partos is a member of the group Citizens' Voice Coffs Harbour; formed to fight the project. He, along with former Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser, was involved in the campaign to gather enough signatures for a petition to be tabled in NSW Parliament.
It attracted close to 15,000 signatures - well over the 10,000 required- and was tabled late last year.
There is also an e-petition calling on the NSW Government to direct Council to pause the project until after the next local government elections which have been postponed to September 4 next year due to Covid.
The e-petition can be found on the NSW parliament website: www.parliament.nsw.gov.au.
In recent months Council has released concept drawings showing how some of the internal spaces will look.
At Council's most recent meeting Cr Paul Amos asked for an update on the development application for the project which is currently with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
"I have been making inquiries and trying to ascertain the status and the nearest I can tell you is the assessment has been completed and it is with the minister seeking a final decision," general manager Steve McGrath said.
This week's protest will kick off at 4.15 with people marching from Gordon Street to Council chambers.
Meetings are still closed to the public due to Covid restrictions.