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Some sage advice for councillors

The Beagle Editor, Whatever ends up being built in the Mackay Park precinct will be there in the spotlight in this so-called gateway iconic location for generations to come. All the more reason for getting it right - that is, incorporating what the community wishes - in terms of design and inclusions from the very beginning when, as the mayor has said before, the plan is just pencil lines on paper and can be changed.

The other way of looking at the complex and its inclusions is in terms of their ability to attract maximum levels of on-going patronage in order to be as self-supporting financially as possible - the more people paying admission and using the facilities, the less of a cost burden the complex will be on future ratepayers.

In this value-for-money/fit-for-purpose context, there are opportunities right now to improve the otherwise basically good concept plan by overcoming the shortcoming in both the aquatic and arts parts of the development.

A 50 metre pool - the standard for Olympic standard events - and decent club facilities, will attract more serious swimmers year round than a smaller one, even one with eight or more lanes. Many of these serious swimmers are already travelling out of the shire to Ulladulla for training (the Narooma pool despite all the council protestations is further away and has inferior facilities and features not the least being the lack of qualified and respected training and coaching staff who naturally won’t come to an inferior facility).

Similarly, a larger sized auditorium - perhaps made up of two smaller spaces with a movable wall - will attract more events than a single smaller one. The shire has lacked such a venue capable of holding audiences larger than 500 people for performances by local and probably more profitable big-name out-of-town artists.

Over to you Mayor Innes and councillors! Jeff de Jager Coila