Through the Merger Savings Fund an allocation of $1 million was made in the NBC budget for 2017/2018 for the development of a new Creative Art (Cultural) Space in the northern end of the Northern Beaches, similar to space already in Curl Curl. There were suggestions that the space could be somewhere in Avalon.
Council votes against Creative Arts Space North at Avalon Beach
In a hurried shock decision at its 25 February 2019 meeting, 13 of 15 Councillors voted against funding a creative arts space north in Avalon Beach.
Instead, Council accepted a staff recommendation to approve up to $4,000,000 to refit the top 2 floors of the Mona Vale Civic Centre as a creative arts space.
Council also accepted the staff recommendation to spend a measly $260,000 refitting two rooms downstairs in the Avalon Golf Club as “artist’s studios”.
This is NOT what the Avalon community asked for and not what was assured (by former Administrator Dick Persson and by NBC senior staff and Mayor). The Avalon Beach community (as well as those of Palm Beach, Whale Beach, Clareville, Bilgola Plateau and Newport) asked for and expected the creation of a well-resourced multi-arts space for community use, not just two small poorly-funded spaces for individual artists.
APA President Peter Mayman addressed Council for 3 minutes. You can view the address and debate here. Peter’s address starts at 39 min 25 sec, and this is followed by another address against the staff proposal and then two in favour. The actual debate and voting commences at the 2 hours 50 min mark. The two venues have NOT been treated similarly in terms of resources.
Just to reiterate: NBC will spend $4,000,000 for the Mona Vale space, but only $260,000 for renovations to 2 rooms in the Avalon Golf Club. Update: NBC has not followed through on the Mona Vale plans to date, but has renovated the ground floor of Avalon Golf Course clubhouse and now rents the 2 rooms out to artists.
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