The vote to progress to the new stage in the Cultural and Civic Space in the CBD has been won 6-2.
After lengthy debate in front of an almost full gallery in the chambers, all councillors, with the exception of Cr Keith Rhoades and Cr Paul Amos, voted for the recommendation.
While all councillors agreed that the project is important, Cr Rhoades had asked for the decision to be deferred for one month to the next meeting to allow the community time to take in all the information.
“The community would appreciate one month to take in the information”, Cr Rhoades said.
However this was not accepted.
Cr Amos also raised his concerns about the costing, referring to the history of Port Macquarie’s Glasshouse.
“Every councillor wants a bigger and better library. But, the way we have gone about it is just not rational”, Cr Amos said.
“I can’t support this, I can’t help but think about the Glasshouse”, he added.
Before the vote, the mayor, Cr Denise Knight said the new Cultural and Civic Space will bring in 500,000 people by year 5, which she said is more visitors than the Rally.
“This is our time. The community will come with us”, Cr Knight said.
The mayor also made reference to a recent meeting with the NSW Arts Minister, Don Harwin, saying that the minister’s comment was to “just get on with it”
She finished by saying, “Delay and delay and delay and the city will die”.
When it came to the vote, those who voted for the recommendation were Cr Arkan, Cr Adendorff, Cr Townley, Cr Knight and Cr Swan.
Cr Rhoades and Cr Amos voted against.