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Will SEARMS be a party to evicting the community from their own BBay Community Centre

A letter received, following the Eurobodalla General Manager advising SEARMS they were the successful applicant to lease the Batemans Bay Community Centre building in Museum Place. Dear SEARMS Aboriginal Housing Corporation (the soon to be lessee of the Batemans Bay Community Centre),

I cannot congratulate you on winning the lease on the Batemans Bay Community Centre building, there being so much at stake here: community volunteer group viability for one, let alone sense of place.

I am so sorry you have chosen this path, especially when there is so much empty space nearby, and you in a position to negotiate a ‘good’ deal.

While you assert you cannot afford commercial rents, do you really think we volunteer groups can afford commercial rent? Some groups will close and certainly some groups’ services will be reduced because of the forced relocation.

It will cause further divisions and stress our social cohesion yet again: bats, fires, floods, Covid, Mackay Park causing such stress and debt, and now our community Centre taken from the volunteer groups who have so tirelessly worked to support our community through these disasters and in an ongoing loaded demographic. Will it best serve the place of SEARMS in the community, do you think?

We wonder why you did not aim for an outreach office further south where so much development is happening.

With regret

Name and address withheld by editor.

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