Mayor Liz Campbell

From the Mayor's desk
Week commencing 19 March 2018Mayor Liz Campbell

Kempsey Cinema Project

Discussion around the Kempsey Cinema project has increased in recent weeks with many different points of view being expressed. It shows our community is passionate and I’m pleased to see an increased level of engagement with the decisions Council are making.

As with any debate it can be challenging to ensure the discussion is based on fact and not misinformation.

Throughout the project, we have been conscious to try to keep the community well informed. All debate and decisions have been made within Council’s formal meeting structure, where the public is welcome to attend to and listen first hand.

Council continues to share and publish the answers to common questions and provide a dedicated section on the website for the Cinema project.

A key fact is, the economic and social boost provided by a modern, purpose-built cinema complex within the Kempsey CBD fits the vision of a vibrant and sustainable future for Kempsey after the bypass. This is the reason Council was able to attract $2m in Federal Government support.

The $2m contribution from Council will not be funded by an increase in rates and has come from existing funds Council has in reserves. Part of the money came from the sale of previously unused assets and property and was put away for future use to assist economic and social growth.

This project works alongside the many other ways Council currently supports the local business community. The saleyards facility directly benefits local stock and station agents. The Macleay Valley Food Bowl program provides local agribusinesses with a commercial advantage in the marketplace. The 2015 moratorium on developer contributions for residential subdivision and dwelling developments in Kempsey and Frederickton provides a direct financial benefit to developers.

Under the draft Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) currently on exhibition, Council will not contribute any further funds, and the risk of construction or operating overruns are met by the commercial partners, Gowings Bros and Majestic Cinemas.

To have an informed opinion about this important project I’d encourage you to check the information available from Council’s offices or on the website at . Submissions on the terms of the VPA close Wednesday 28 March.

SCdreen shot of the Draft Kempsey Cinema Voluntary Planning Agreement public exhibition web pageCheck Council’s website for updated answers to common cinema development questions