Lismore councillor wants pool instead of another “arty ark”
A LISMORE City councillor's push to see money reserved for public art spent instead on restoring the Lismore Lake Pool has won initial support from all but one of his fellow councillors.
Councillor Greg Bennett's motion to review the council's public art policy with a view to shifting its funds to community infrastructure was carried nine votes to one at last night's council meeting.
The public art policy requires developers of projects worth more than $2 million to make contributions of $12,000 to a public art fund, now valued at more than $100,000.
Cr Bennett argued those funds were better used for community infrastructure such as the Lismore Lake Pool.
"I believe most people would prefer money be spent on a public pool instead of another arty ark," he said.
Staff will review the public art policy, run a workshop on the impact of any potential changes, and then return the decision to councillors at a future meeting.
Cr Bennett said it was a first step in his core goal of restoring the once free public pool.
The motion follows his previous motion last month to request a costings report from staff to restore the pool, which also won support.
"My goal is to get it back - to fix it or replace it," Cr Bennett said.
"That's the project I want to see done over the next four years."
"I'm not going to raise rates (so) we might have to look a bit harder for the funds."
He argued the council was spending money on things which weren't the traditional domain of local councils, such as running rural landholder workshops which were better handled by bodies such as the Department of Primary Industries, and doing "far in excess" of the required public consultation over council services, such as a forthcoming review costed at $100,000.
He said if the council's priorities were shifted, "millions" of dollars could be diverted to more popular projects such as the lake pool.