Janine Wilson from Lismore Community Action Network , left, and Trish Gibson from Friends of the Richmond Tweed Regional Library.
Janine Wilson from Lismore Community Action Network , left, and Trish Gibson from Friends of the Richmond Tweed Regional Library. Cathy Adams

Library friends fight back at closure proposal

FRIENDS of the Lismore Library is considering stopping its voluntary book deliveries if Lismore City Council closes Goonellabah Library.

The proposal is among a raft of cost- cutting measures designed to save council more than $1 million a year over the next decade to put towards improving roads, sewerage and infrastructure.

Friends of the Lismore Library president Hugh Bond said the volunteers who delivers books to housebound people were not happy about the idea.

DISCUSSING LIBRARY: Mayor of Lismore Jenny Dowell.
DISCUSSING LIBRARY: Mayor of Lismore Jenny Dowell. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

"If they reduce the Goonellabah Library hours and cut the Sunday hours of Lismore City Library we can understand that, but don't close the Goonellabah Library altogether."

"Closing the library will impact heavily on a section of society that doesn't have many other things apart from the library to keep their quality of life."

Mayor Jenny Dowell said although council was in a healthy cash position compared with other councils; costs had to be cut in the draft 2013/2014 Operational Plan to make the council financially sustainable into the future.

Cr Dowell said cost-cutting measures included closing council's CBD office, Goonellabah Library and Lismore City Library on Sundays.

She said council planned to have a presence in the CBD for people to pay rates and the decision to close the Goonellabah Library, which had been discussed for several years, was because it was within 5km of Lismore City Library.

"The plan is to put approximately $700,000 annually into asset renewal which means more money for roads, maintenance and construction and $350,000 towards the community strategic plan," she said. Cr Dowell said the Imagine Lismore initiatives suggested by residents included making the CBD cleaner and cleaning up the Wilsons River.

Cr Dowell stressed as the plan was only a draft, changes could be made before the plan is implemented in the new financial year.

The plan will be on public exhibition for 28 days from May 16, to seek community feedback.

Final decisions about the operational plan will be made by councillors at a budget meeting on June 25.

Financial picture

  • Household rates, waste, water and wastewater charges combined to rise by $140 a year.
  • $29.8 million to be spent on capital works in 2013/2014.
  • Council's current cash position is $9,600 in deficit.


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