The Beagle Editor, Finally some truth is coming from our council. They have now endorsed the funding for a $61 million state of the art, evacuation centre for the residents of the Batemans Bay area in anticipation of the next fire or flood. The Evacuation Centre will be able to accommodate more people than the Hanging Rock community rooms which were used in January. And unlike the Hanging Rock facility the Regional Evacuation centre is a single floor structure that will ensure the disabled aren't left at the bottom of the steps. In confidential meetings and briefing sessions councillors have identified the source of funds for the Bay Evacuation, Aquatic, Gymnasium, Leisure, Entertainment, Arts and Community Centre (BEAGLEACC) that will provide those evacuated with a generous gymnasium, a range of heated pools, a cafe and even a splash pad for kiddies. Though the original project had a 350 theatre in the design this will now become a multifunctional hall to provide for more bed space. Outside will be a 250 capacity carpark and should it flood the building will be above the water level leaving those inside high and dry while ducks from the adjacent swamp wade by. The recommendation to install an industrial dishwasher into the slightly expanded remodelled kitchenette. This will tick the boxes of a commercial kitchen and should satisfy those who claim the kitchen does not have the capacity to cook more than a boiled egg. Taking the newly rebadged concept of the Bay Evacuation, Aquatic, Gymnasium, Leisure, Entertainment, Arts and Community Centre (BEAGLEACC) to the next election in September should prove a vote catching windfall for those councillors keen to cash in on the emotion and recollections of recent fires; and at the same time quell the community backlash around the inadequate facilities that were provided during the events of January. By talking it up and presenting the building as an essential civic facility that complies with State Evacuation Centre guidelines of floorspace and toilets the voting public might be distracted long enough during the election cycle to remember that the current council had in fact failed to deliver on the original simple brief of an affordable new pool and an arts / performance space. To ensure the Bay Evacuation, Aquatic, Gymnasium, Leisure, Entertainment, Arts and Community Centre (BEAGLEACC) can be funded the current council have identified additional potential assets sales and undisclosed internal sources of moolah to bolster the blowout in the budget required to accommodate provided tenders.
Those in the community who have been watching the project grow from the early days when it was projected to cost only $45 million will wonder how Council was able to get away with undervalueing the estimated cost of the project on their Development Application form by approx $15 million. The Bay Evacuation, Aquatic, Gymnasium, Leisure, Entertainment, Arts and Community Centre (BEAGLEACC) will be a gateway structure for all who arrive from the north and see an edifice in the distance, standing proudly and defiantly facing out over a four lane thunderdome of grey concrete walls, sprawling carparks and fast food options. This June will see the current councillors lock the BEAGLEACC project into the 20/21 budget. This fiscal legacy will be inherited by the next set of councillors, along with the golden shovel that will be used, come hell or high water, before September, by the current council to turn the first sod and claim that they have finally delivered on something in their four year tenure ...... other than Cat Bibs or ridding Council reserves of helium balloons. Yours in jest Blind Freddy