LISMORE Council has decided art is more important than sewerage, voting to prioritise a new art gallery and open space 'piazza' over an upgrade to the South Lismore Sewerage Treatment Plant and Dawson St Pump Station.
The council had to determine which project should be put forward for the National Stronger Regions Fund.
If successful, council will have to borrow a further $1.6 million to match the federal government grant for the $4.6 million project.
Mayor Jenny Dowell championed the gallery case, saying the redevelopment of C-Block at the Conservatorium site in Keen Street was widely supported by the community and that Council could apply for the sewerage funding next year.
Cr Dowell showed 10 years worth of unrealised gallery plans and said if the motion to apply for the NSRF grant didn't go ahead, public pledges would dry up, and a $500,000 by an undisclosed donor donation toward the gallery would be lost.
An amendment by Cr Greg Bennett to apply for $10 million for the South Lismore sewerage project was defeated 7-4.