We learn that the Eurobodalla Council wants to close the Batemans Bay Community Centre and lease it out. Just recently Council initiated a two year lease at that would have seen the Centre lost to the community. That lease will not be going forward. While this is a win for the community the fact remains that the Eurobodalla Council does not recognise the vital role the Community Centre plays, nor do they respect their own motion that clearly told the community they would defer any action on the community centre until after the Mackay Park project was signed off for commencement. Council tells us on their website that "the Batemans Bay Community Centre is a spacious facility which has 3 meeting rooms, a large hall and kitchen available for hire. It is a versatile venue which is suitable for events, small or large activity groups and meetings." The Council lists the following Facilities
Fixed outdoor electric BBQ
Reverse cycle air conditioning
Hearing loop capacity
Off street parking
Fixed basketball hoop and backboard outside
Committee room: a small meeting room with lino flooring which is suitable for 3 to 5 people
Display area: a medium sized meeting room with a capacity of 10 to 15 people and access to tea and coffee making facilities.
Meeting room 1 and 2: These rooms can only be hired as one space. The capacity of the room is 30 people and it has tea and coffee making facilities, a small fridge, access to the kitchen and carpet flooring.
Hall 1 and 2: The Hall can be hired as one space or divided and hired separately. The full hall has a capacity of 200 people and the half hall has a capacity of 50 to 90 people. Both have access to the kitchen and timber flooring.
2 portable whiteboards
1 portable DVD/VCR player
1 portable television
1 wall mounted television in the meeting room
Basic cleaning equipment
Small portable stage
Hearing loop installed If you haven't been to the Batemans Bay Community Centre this is what it looks like:
Unfortunately for the users of the Centre Council has now decided it wishes to close the centre to wider community use and give exclusive access to anyone requesting that they lease the Community Centre to them. Council had advised Centre users, in writing, last week, that "Council has recently been contacted by ####### , and they have asked Council to consider leasing them the entire Batemans Bay Community Centre building for the next two years." Council advised "They need a facility with a range of spaces and outdoor activity areas and accessible entry points. The Community Centre is ideal and providing a lease would mean the [business] can start soon. The lease report will go to Council on the 28th of July. If a lease is agreed, [the business] will need to take over the Community Centre in stages from August. The timing of this is something we will work through with them." If you look at the above plan and images you can see that the Centre has been purpose built. The hall floor is sprung to reduce impact to the older members of the community who use the hall for dancing and dance classes. The sprung floor is also enjoyed by other groups such a Ju-jitsu. Note that the storage cupboards in the hall are designed to accommodate the chairs and tables used in meetings. The hall is also a vibrant town market place each Thursday. It is understood the intention is to now petition off the hall into cubicles.
Note also that the kitchen is a commercial kitchen with a commercial freezer. It was purpose built for Meals On Wheels with the added feature of an outside access point to service deliveries. You might also note that the toilets have an external door allowing them to be used as public toilets providing visitors to the Water Gardens and Museum with this facility. The toilets were purpose built to be community toilets. Now, contrary to a motion adopted by Council on March 28th, 2019, the Council seems hellbent on leasing the Community Centre and the community to be advised to go elsewhere.