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Council's proposal is "unsettling" and "a disaster": not serving the best interests the community

An article that appeared in the 22 September Batemans Bay Post -" Lease of Batemans Bay Community Centre a 'disaster' , concerning the proposed leasing of the Community Centre came as a shock to the Batemans Bay Line Dancing group, which is led by Alan Rosier.

Above: Batemans Bay Community Centre - For Lease to the highest bidder "The BBCC will need to remain open to the community until the new Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre (AALC) is constructed and operational. Maintaining the existing facility would duplicate functions and add operational costs while removing potential sale or lease options, including the revenue arising from such. This would have the effect of inadvertently increasing the operational cost of the AALC and deprive that centre of a potential source of income, therefore compromising its affordability, including the theatre." Eurobodalla Council. He wrote to The Beagle saying "On several occasions, our group has been under immense pressure to find a suitable venue for our line dancing. In past years, we were at the Batemans Bay Bowling Club, but had to move out in Dec 2012 when the venue closed. We tried to book into the ESC Community Centre, but it was heavily booked by various community activity groups, including many dancing and fitness groups. The popularity of the Community Centre then was without question."

"We were lucky to find a 'home' at the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, but with its closure earlier this year due to the COVID pandemic, we were once again out looking for an alternative mid this year. After a short period of dancing outdoors on a difficult basketball court surface (with ESC approval and meeting NSW Government COVID safe restrictions) we looked at several available ESC facilities. Most were not suited to our activity, particularly in terms of floor surfaces that would keep our dancers safe from body injuries or stress eg. to knees and hips," Alan wrote.

"Regrettably, the  best venue (the Bay Community Centre) was not offered to us. We are now aware that the Community Centre building had been constructed with a 'sprung floor', designed specifically to minimise injuries for dancing groups. With some reservation, we found ourselves at the Council's McKay Park Function Room in July, but it has now become

unavailable due to neighbouring demolition work."

"However, mercifully, the ESC has allowed us into the Bay Community Centre from last week, which has proven to be a perfectly good safe and healthy venue. But now we learn that it's availability to us and other community activity groups is under threat from the ESC's proposal to lease it out. "The Council's statement that it would only be leased for community purposes and benefits ignores the obvious difficulty, if not impossibility, of fitting a group like ours (or others like us) into a largely preoccupied building. We fully understand that the Community Centre may be somewhat under-used at this stage of the COVID pandemic, but there should be no doubt about the importance of this centrally located venue as a critical source of physical and mental well-being to a multitude of community activity groups. Alan concluded "We therefore agree with the sentiments being widely expressed that the Council's proposal is "unsettling" and "a disaster", which will not serve the best interests

of this community."

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