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Council asked to consider extra options for Mackay Park

Thursday 18 May 2017

Eurobodalla councillors will be asked to consider a contract variation that allows further redevelopment options to be explored for Batemans Bay’s Mackay Park precinct.

Consultants Otium Planning Group presented Council’s community-based sunset committee with preliminary concepts for a 500-seat performance theatre and an aquatic centre earlier this month.

Their design demonstrated the two community facilities can co-locate on the Crown Land at the southern end of the precinct, leaving the Council-owned freehold land to the north unencumbered.

While committee members were satisfied that a performing arts facility and an aquatic centre can sit successfully side-by-side on the Mackay Park land, they want to explore further options that would see the arts facility located on the northern part of the precinct, separate to the aquatic and recreation centre, and a 1,000 seat multi-purpose event space instead of a 500-seat theatre.  

The report to Tuesday’s Council meeting reminds councillors that the purpose of preparing a concept plan and business case is to support grant applications to Australian and NSW governments and to demonstrate to the Office of Local Government that the development is affordable to operate as a public private partnership.

It states: “As Council proceeds with the potential public private partnership, it will be less important to include the exact detail of the concept plan in a future approach to market as the private sector will have ideas on what a feasible development could be for the site. It will not be solely up to the private sector to propose what is constructed, as Council will specify minimum deliverables (eg, aquatic and recreation centre, arts and cultural facilities, etc). Therefore the location of each facility and whether it contains a 500 seat theatre or 1000 seat multi-use event space can be determined at a later stage after considering any response from the private sector.”

Mayor Liz Innes is pleased with progress to date. “We asked Otium to show us how the community facilities could fit into the overall precinct and they’ve been able to demonstrate that a quality performing arts facility and a state-of-the-art aquatic centre can work on the site in a manner they believe to be the most economically sustainable.

“However, we want the very best outcome for our community and we want to make sure the viable options are explored.

“Council will consider the committee’s recommendations to have Otium look at the different scenarios. However, there is a cost to that and we are being prudent about only paying our consultants for what we need to take this project forward.”