Change Plans before it's too late
Given the number of concerns expressed by the public via comments and newspaper opinion pieces, it's time to re-think the plan. The issues I see are:
- Cost at a time when the community and businesses have been hammered by COVID impacts. Cost includes debt and the ongoing losses associated with running the place (which you have already admitted to)
- The incorrect assumption that we would draw big acts here and that would bring tourists - we don;t have the population or venue size to support large (and expensive) acts; and tourists don't visit a place for a show unless there's a unique aspect eg the Lleuwin Estate outdoor concert
- the current design it at complete odds with the streetscape and could be anywhere - there's nothing to indicate it is located in a regional center
- the conflict between approving hotel and other venue developments that include convention / conference facilities, then adding a council facility
- apparently forgetting that any performing arts venue has to be able to survive throughout the year - which means it needs to be well patronised by locals during off-season. Which means a smaller venue
I have lived in two other tourist regions (in QLD) - having a number of small venues is what works best to and also enables venues to have an aesthetic in keeping with a regional environment (instead of looking like any other city development). Lower costs associated with smaller venues also means it is more finacially viable for local performers and audiences to afford to have / attend shows.The Sunshine Coast performing arts / entertainment centre is simple and looks daggy (because of the era in which it was built) - but nobody cares about that. The center is well patronised and used for a range of purposes. It is sustainable because of relatively low cost and the fact that it serves a populaiton 10 times ours.
Please don't add to our rates costs for an ugly white elephant. Keep development in harmony with our regional character and resources.