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Innes voting bloc moves to lease BBay Community Centre amid community outcry

Council has made the decision to evict all but one of the current community users from the Batemans Bay Community Centre and lease it to a local Agency at a rate below commercial rates recognising that the lessee is a community focused enterprise and can not afford full market rentals. Council says that it does not intend to sell the existing BBCC at present. The Batemans Bay Community Centre has, however, been identified by Council of an intention to lease then sell the property "to offset construction and/or ongoing operational costs associated with the proposed Aquatics, Arts and Leisure Centre. Council have advised that the sale or lease of the Visitor Information Centre (VIC) and BBCC are potential sources of funding to meet the cost of the proposed facility. With that in mind the Council also moved today to set in motion the sale or lease of the Batemans Bay Visitors Centre on Vesper Street that will be permanently closed in February 2021. Council say of the sales "The business case prepared by Otium and adopted by Council, is based upon funds currently used to operate the BBCC and VIC, being redirected to meet operating costs of the Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre and to calculate the net operational cost to Council and therefore the community of that facility." In May 2019 the General Manager informed councilors "If Council were to maintain the BBCC, it would increase the net operating cost of the Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre, and the overall operational costs. In addition, maintaining the existing facility would remove potential sale or lease options, and the potential revenue arising from such, further increasing the costs to the community. In May 2019 the General Manager advised councillors in her response "Council would not be in a position to vacate the BBCC until the Aquatic, Arts and Leisure Centre has been constructed and is operational." During the meeting today Councillor Phil Constable debated "we have told the community repetitively that this venue (BBCC) was going to be considered for further use at the time of completion of the Batemans Bay Arts and Aquatic Centre we would not do anything at the time of the completion of the Mackay Park facility" The Mayor then responded "I do not believe, at any time, we said it (the lease or sale) was contingent on it being the completion of the Aquatic Centre"

VIDEO: Ordinary Meeting of Eurobodalla Council Date: December 8th 2020

Debate from Clr Mayne during CCS20/054 Lease of Batemans Bay Community Centre

Published Under MOU with Eurobodalla Shire Council Creative Commons Attribution

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