Council rise will boot museum into history
By RACHEL SCOLLAY
THE Evans Head Living Museum could be looking at an astronomical rent hike - from $1 a year, to $500 a week.
Museum committee member Lillian Colless said the issue was of great concern.
"We had a letter from the council saying they were contemplating charging $500 per week," she said.
The problem is, after yearly spending, including buying new display cabinets, the museum only had $700 in the bank.
"So if they want to charge market rental we will have to close shop," she said.
"There's no way we can possibly pay."
The Evans Head museum opened in March 2004 and focuses on the town's heritagelisted aerodrome, with a collection of memorabilia and photos.
The museum also auspices the Community Technology Centre (CTC), which shares space in the same building and runs computer programs cater- ing for youngsters right through to senior citizens.
"Government grants got the whole thing up and running," she said.
"Council gave us the building but we did all of the work, scrubbing and painting.
"We raised money to put everything on. We worked very, very hard to get the place opened."
Director of Corporate Services, Wayne Halcrow, said the council had advised the CTC its rent would be reviewed annually, and financial accounts had been asked for to determine what increase was feasible.
The museum wasn't charged anything, he said.
However, Mrs Colless said charging the CTC was like charging the museum.
"The museum is like the mother company," she said.
"It's all in the same bank account."
"Casino museum only pays peppercorn rental and has for years. And they only open two or three days a week."
The Evans Head Living Museum has an entry fee of $1, and its only way of making money was through raffles and street stalls, she said.