Civic centre repairs are ?now or never

By STEPHANIE FORESTER

IT'S GOING to cost close to a million bucks to renovate Mullumbimby's iconic Civic Centre, and the good news is Byron Shire councillors are committed to delivering its glorious future.

The sticking point is the process.

While a majority of councillors have voted to accept the draft Plan of Management and develop a business plan, others say it is a waste of time and money until the council has decided the building's future.

Crs John Lazarus and Peter Westheimer have championed the proceed 'now' cause.

"Either we begin work on it or we bulldoze it," Cr Lazarus said.

"This building has significant heritage value and is one of the biggest spaces around for public events.

"It's a real asset for the whole shire."

Cr Ross Tucker was one of four councillors who couldn't see the point in spending money on basic repairs ? just yet.

"The Plan of Management isn't a bad document, it's just not a Plan of Management," Cr Tucker said.

"To me, a Plan of Management enables the public to see what the council is planning for the future, whereas this is a simple repair schedule."

Cr Tucker said he would like the council to hold a public meeting to gauge community opinion on the building's future.

The time for decisions, however, is now, said Cr Westheimer.

He said he would like to see the $500,000 needed to renovate the hall prioritised in the next budget, as well as a business plan developed as soon as possible.



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