Editorial Jan 15th 2021

Welcome to this week’s editorial, “What’s in a name?” It turns out that Council have contracted Brand design specialist CITIZEN to come up with a name for the new Mackay Park pool and theatre, and to run community workshops to gain feedback on their ideas. Council advise that “CITIZEN has been involved in the development of many iconic brands, including the National Museum of Australia, Vivid Festival, Australian Olympic Committee, Virgin Mobile and Western Sydney University, to name a few”. Eurobodalla Council’s planning director Lindsay Usher said branding and communications would be an important element of the new centre. Mr Usher said: “The Batemans Bay Regional Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre has only ever intended to be the development project name, not the final name of the facility. "The task now is to develop an engaging brand for the centre that will last for many years, attracting visitation from both locals and tourists alike.” The community already have a few suggestions for the new facility such as The Porky McPorkface Regional Pork Space, paying respect to the source of most of the funding. While Council might not like it the inclusion of the word “Regional” in the name is essential as the $51 million in State and Federal funding came from Regional Growth funds for Regional facilities to invigorate Regional Growth. The Mackay Park project was put forward by Council saying it would serve as a Regional pool and Regional theatre. Because it is “Regional” means that Council can also justify having all ratepayers, across the shire, contribute to its upkeep. The project has already blown out by $20 million with that shortfall to come from ratepayers pockets. Council have clearly declared that "This facility, when built, will be no different to the variety of public assets across the Shire, where all ratepayers contribute to their ongoing maintenance and general upkeep." So don’t be surprised if the facility retains its “Regional” tag out of financial necessity ensuring all ratepayers are aware that it is a “regional” facility they are duty bound to contribute to, irrespective as to whether they use it or not and that it isn’t just a local Batemans Bay facility sucking essential maintenance and reconstruction funds from shirewide roads, playgrounds, public halls, roads, paths and neighbourhoods. “What’s in a name?” Quite a lot actually. Council may well attempt to hide the “R” for “Regional” within an endearing acronym, taking a possible example from The BAS in Moruya, named after Mr Basil Sellers AM for his significant contribution and substantial donation for the construction of the exhibition centre. If that is the case we could offer a variation - The RAS (Regional ArtQuatic Sh*tstorm). I look forward to seeing what they come up with. Until next— lei

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