Once again the Mackay Park Arts aquatic Centre is in the news (Update on the Regional Aquatic and Arts facility 23/1/2018 The Beagle) .
I applaud the contributions so far from Perfex, U3A and the Pastel society stressing the desire for a reflection of the value of Arts in this community, attempts to recognise the future of Arts in the community as a real component for consideration and RESPECT for the Arts to be reflected in the building.
There is another angle that continues to be important and integral to the development of the Mackay Precinct: its process.
At the moment there is continuing unease in the way the Sunset committee has been structured and operates, echoed particularly by calls for a truly transparent, informed discussion with the members , and by extension, their community; and the desire for actual ‘say’ in it.
In the hope of remedying some of these concerns and to increase satisfaction with in the Committee, and improve its credibility in the community I offer the following:.
Suggestions re Sunset Committee:
Change Terms of Reference to say that members must attend 90% (or similar) meetings or their place is declared vacant
Increase representation of the Arts community and the Pool community (after all, these are the main focus of the development at this stage)
All members have input to the agenda well ahead of time and have adequate time allocated for discussion
Time is set aside early in the proceedings for ‘other business’ – to ensure adequate time for discussion
Greater feedback (and better) to community allowed and encouraged
More power to members – not just advisory and giving input. They must see some value placed on their presence and input to make it worthwhile, for members and for community credibility
To meet more often with plenty of prep time, to be well and fully–informed to allow real discussion
Information to be sent to the members well ahead of the meetings
More transparency by Council on the main topic AND its related topics (such as demolition of Bowlo,RMS plans, etc)
Members have input to further grant round applications
Members (and community) to have plenty of input and say in the re-development of the Concept plan
Community ideas and suggestions are seen to be included and reflected in the plans and the precinct.
Be open and transparent about ‘other plans’ for the precinct (other than the Aquatic Arts Centre), allow input to those other plans, and reflect the community wishes in those plans.
We need more community trust and involvement in both the process and the vision for the centre to be both viable, loved and used.
cheers Dr Sue Mackenzie