Council in move to the CBD?
By DOMINIC FEAIN
LISMORE deputy mayor John Chant wants the city's Goonellabah council chambers moved downtown.
"The chambers should never have been moved up there in the first place," said Cr Chant. "It's the worst decision we've made."
Cr Chant intends to ask the general manager at the next meeting of council to investigate the possible relocation of Lismore Council Chambers back downtown to the old Lismore High School site.
As the council is already committed to a new art gallery in the planned CBD cultural precinct, Cr Chant believes that the council can take advantage of the development activity and attract more people back into the CBD, helping to bring it back to life.
"When we started to put all these things together for the new cultural centre I realised it was such a big block and I thought why don't we move the chambers there," said Cr Chant.
"We are trying to stimulate the CBD and what better way? The council currently employs over 100 people and the chambers are hidden away in Goonellabah."
General manager Paul O'Sullivan supports the motion and considers it a bold proposal that is well worth considering.
In his comments on Cr Chant's notice of motion, Mr O'Sullivan noted that the council could take the opportunity to address some current problems through an integrated redevelopment strategy.
According to Mr O'Sullivan, the council had already outgrown its offices at Goonellabah, and has subsequently spread its management and support activities around various locations, reducing efficiency and raising costs.
Mr O'Sullivan believes the council can meet its long-term strategic needs in a new building downtown.