Ballina Shire Council’s recent decision to turn the Alstonville Cultural Centre community facility over to private film production for two years is continuing to cause angst in the Alstonville community.
An open letter has been sent to the mayor and councillors from nine community groups protesting the decision.
The letter states: ‘This council decision has been taken quietly, without any community consultation, resulting in angst within the community, and causing division, as local people try to clarify the possible repercussions of council’s decision.
‘Many sporting, cultural and service organisations will be unable to continue their community activities, or will be forced to relocate to alternative, less appropriate, sites. This, at a time when community groups and organisations are already suffering the financial impacts of COVID 19.
‘As a result, the community calls upon Ballina Shire Council for improved communication between council and the plateau community.’
Two year limit
The open letter requests that council limit the currently approved lease time frame to two years, allowing ‘Byron Studios sufficient time to make alternative arrangements.’
The letter also calls for appropriate accommodation to be found on the Alstonville Plateau for community users without those users incurring any additional ‘out of pocket’ expenses, with compensation to be paid if such accommodation cannot be found.
The signatories request a proper community consultative process for any future council proposals, ‘however urgent’.
In closing, the open letter requests ‘openness and honesty in all council deliberations that impact the Alstonville Plateau community, and informed community consultation before decisions are made.
‘As citizens and ratepayers, we are required to consult and make application to council for any changes that impact on our community. We expect the same from our elected representatives.’
The open letter is signed by the following organisations:
- Alstonville Community Basketball
- Alstonville Plateau Historical Society Inc.
- Alstonville Plateau Physical Culture Club
- Alstonville Wollongbar Chamber of Commerce
- Wollongbar Progress Association Inc.
- Alstonville Lions Club
- Alstonville Social Justice Group
- Quota Alstonville Inc.
- Wollongbar Garden Club Inc.