A history lesson for Councillors around the Narooma Visitors Centre

Once again Eurobodalla Council is coming under fire for failing to respect its community and the history of the public buildings they have been trusted to look after. Last year it came to a head in Batemans Bay when the community learnt that the Batemans Bay Community Centre was to be leased out to a third party and that the many community groups who use the facility might like to look for alternate venues. Council indicated it needed the revenue to prop up the expected $2million per year running costs of The PAV (one of the favoured nick-names for the new Mackay Park Centre). Next the community learnt that Council were closing the Batemans Bay Visitor Information Centre with a view to leasing or selling the building. This presents its own difficulty as the land was gifted to the Council on the proviso they look after the old Batemans Bay cemetery that is located on the land at the top of the cliff, accessed by Hill Street). Council has now permanently closed the Batemans Bay Visitor Information Centre based on a report received that said it was too expensive to operate and that Council would be best advised to "Fish where the fish are" with reference to the internet as being the go-to for visitors to the region and social media being the place to market the region to the "fish". That decision to close the Batemans Bay Visitor Information Centre also resulted in Council determining it would no longer support the Narooma Visitor Information Centre and would instead put the building up for lease at market rates. A proviso of the lease would require the Lighthouse Museum, that is attached to the building, to remain open to the public and that any lessee would be required to perform the role of a "partnered" tourism outlet providing room for brochures, noticeboard or information terminal. Learning of Council's intent the Narooma community have a petition in place to advise Council they are not in favour of Council's decision. Laurelle Pacey, President of the Narooma Historical Society spoke with Simon Lauder of ABC South East on March 10th 2021 and offered an insight into the history of the building and the museum.

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