Hush, hush, you’re not meant to know

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Hush, hush, you’re not meant to know

 

CONFUSION surrounds plans for the Korumburra Library site.

Four weeks ago the language coming from interest groups including the Historical Society and Korumburra Rotary Club was, “What is known, is a new library will be built.”

The new library was envisaged as occupying the corner of the site at street level with a commercial development – rumoured to be a supermarket – below.

The development would take in the vacant land that abuts the council owned Korumburra Library and Federation Gallery.

Bryan Sword the acting CEO of the shire recently issued a statement that seemed designed to quash public interest in a possible development.

The statement read: “Contrary to rumours, the Korumburra Library site has not been sold.

“This site is identified in the Korumburra Town Centre Framework Plan as a potential site for a future supermarket, which was developed following extensive community consultation in 2013.

“If Council is to transfer or sell land it must comply with the requirements of the Local Government Act 1989, which requires public notification and consultation.

“Any proposal to develop this land for the purposes of a supermarket would require a planning permit application which includes strict notification and advertising requirements under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

“The Library and associated community facilities are important assets to Korumburra and the broader South Gippsland community and I strongly encourage anyone with a query about any aspect of Council’s operations to contact us directly so that we may provide you with accurate information and prevent unnecessary concern or unrest.

Mr Sword’s statement was a response to a letter to the editor and several calls from members of the community wrongly accusing the council of having sold the old Korumburra shire offices.

There is no doubt that progress is being made to redevelop this prime location at the entrance to Korumburra and few would doubt what a lift this would give the town.

A high profile person with strong involvement in the town said, “Over the years there have been many proposals but this one is for real.”

The shire approached the president of the Korumburra Historical Society which has space in the building and the stewards of The Federation Art Gallery, Korumburra Rotary to sound out their views on becoming tenants of the Korumburra Railway Station development.

Clearly this is to rationalise plans for a new library building without other tenants at the site.

The president of the Korumburra Round Table, Peewee Lewis is determined that community interests are best served by what unfolds.

Mrs Lewis said, “I would be concerned if the art gallery was isolated in the railway station.”

She said she was very much in favour of incorporating community facilities such as a library and art gallery with commercial enterprises such as a supermarket.

She argues that a whole lot of people who would never otherwise bother to go out of their way to visit either, would be brought into the fold.

Mrs Lewis guessed that many children in the town would have been to neither the art gallery nor the library.

Currently the entrance to Federation Art Gallery is through the adjoining library which arrangement means the gallery can operate without being formally staffed 210 days each year.

Strategically locating public facilities such as libraries and art galleries makes them mainstream and if an art gallery shares a concourse with a shopping centre it has access to a captive audience.

Mrs Lewis cited the exciting new Frank Bartlett Library in the heart of the Moe CBD as an example of what can be achieved.

Mrs Lewis questioned too why a library can’t provide a comfortable, calm and unobtrusively supervised space where teenagers might lounge with their peers to engage in gaming.

“We have to change our mind set,” she said. “Our communities need to provide interconnectedness.”

Meanwhile the committee of volunteers looking at the ideas submitted for the Korumburra Railway Station business plan, met last Wednesday night with Barbara Look the council’s community strengthening officer who has sorted and collated the ideas.

Korumburra Business Association secretary Shirley Arestia said that the meeting left the working group with a lot of homework to do which includes reading an assessment of the building’s structural integrity.

Ms Arestia said, “Across the working group there is a breadth of experience which includes business management, planning and historic buildings as well as a mix of long term and new residents of the town.”

There is even a couple from The Gurdies who are there by dint of their interest in bringing long forlorn infrastructure back to life.

The next meeting is on October 19.

Building the future: the striking new Frank Bartlett Library in Moe is proving to be a new focus in the heart of the town.

Building the future: the striking new Frank Bartlett Library in Moe is proving to be a new focus in the heart of the town.

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Posted by on Oct 4 2016. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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