Lismore shelves library takeover

LISMORE City Council has back-tracked on its takeover of the Richmond Tweed Regional Lib- rary Network.

The council has been leading the governance of the library network since July 2010 and providing services to the Ballina, Byron and Tweed councils on a fee-for-service basis.

However Byron and Ballina shires have recently refused to fully support the current structure.

The administration by Lismore Council began after the library's operation under a County Council model was found to be in conflict with the Local Government Act and the Library Act.

But due to changes in the Lib- rary Act last year, councils can again jointly manage the network.

Lismore's decision gives the lib- rary committee two years to ex- amine other governance options, in conjunction with mayors and general managers.

Friends of Richmond-Tweed Regional Library secretary Trish Gibson said she views the decision as a "promising" start.

"This is hopefully the beginning of a new era and we will return to the wonderful structure it once was, now we are able to legally," Ms Gibson said.

Before the vote at Tuesday's council meeting, Councillor Gianpiero Battista said Lismore should never have been put in charge.

"We have wasted hund- reds of thousands on this issue when we could have used it to buy books for the community on the Northern Rivers," Cr Battista said.

Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell "totally rejected" suggestions council backflipped on the issue.

"Our aim is unity and to have everyone agree where we are in the same place and the same route," Cr Dowell said.

"Change was necessary and every change is costly but the important thing is not the money it's about getting it right and making the library sustainable for the future.

"The bottom line is the library will continue to operate and patrons will not notice any difference."


How should the library network be run? Leave a comment below.

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