Council to sell off public assets
LISMORE City Council has voted to seek expressions of interest for the sale of three of its properties, including the Neighbourhood Centre building.
However, far from a quick-fire sale, mayor Jenny Dowell said there was a long way to go and the council might eventually decide not to sell the properties, that also include the Terania Building occupied by ACE North Coast and the Nimbin Caravan Park.
“It is linked to a budget process that began last year which looked at all discretionary spending and council properties,” she said.
Cr Dowell said it was still early in the process and that valuations were not yet being sought, adding another report would be presented to councillors before any decision was made.
“Councillors could well decide to say no, we don’t want to lose these important community assets or risk losing good community groups,” she said.
The sale of the Rochdale Theatre was also considered in the budget process, but was rejected by council staff primarily because of uncertainty whether council could sell it because of a caveat on the title of the property that was given to council as apublic reserve.
Lismore Theatre Company president Brian Best said far from being concerned about the prospect of council selling the building, they would welcome the opportunity to buy it.
The 40-year-old theatre group has rented the premises on the Bruxner Highway at Goonellabah from the council since 1972.
Likewise, ACE president Kerry Johnson said the college – the largest in the State – would welcome the opportunity to purchase the site, depending on price.
The council report on the sale process presented at Tuesday night’s meeting said the Lismore Neighbourhood Centre could be sold in its current form as the land was classified operational.
It will be put out for expressions of interest in March or April.
The Terania building, which would be also put out for expressions of interest at the same time, would first need to be subdivided, the report said.
Nimbin Caravan Park would also need to be subdivided as council has already decided to retain ownership of the pool.