28.3 C
Byron Shire
August 1, 2021

Ballina parts ways with Arts Northern Rivers

Latest News

Unnecessary divisions

Louise Andrews, Lennox Head Dear Mandy, an excellent article in The Echo (Soapbox, 21 July). It saddens me too to witness...

Other News

Bumbling Berejiklian

Keith Duncan, Pimlico The chooks have certainly come home to roost for the corruption riddled NSW government and ‘our’ scandal plagued...

Highest Hapki yusul award given to former Rosebank resident

Ross Kendall Jarrod Taylor has received the Ninth Dan – the highest award in Hapki yusul, the martial art from...

45 Sydney-Ballina travellers exposed to COVID-19

Forty-five travellers from Sydney are being urged to get tested for COVID-19 and continue self-isolation on the Northern Rivers after sharing a flight with a confirmed case.

History repeats

Peter Olson, Goonengerry History shows that when the media and the politicians turn against the people, eventually there is a backlash. It...

Riverland Wine: A hidden gem

  Julz Recsei* As I navigate the vast world of wine, I am constantly looking for something new and I found...

Luxury Byron stay discounted

S Haslam Luxury Byron resort Crystalbrook Byron has come up with an incredible offer to anyone tragically stuck, like us,...

Ballina Cr Sharon Parry. Photo supplied.

A discussion about funding priorities for the next year became a debate about local versus regional arts funding at the last Ballina Shire Council meeting.

Cr Sharon Parry questioned the wisdom of withdrawing Ballina’s ongoing support for the peak regional arts body Arts Northern Rivers, with over $23,000/year now to be redirected to staff and programs at Ballina’s Northern Rivers Community Gallery (NRCG).

She said although the decision had already been made, the cost/benefit analysis had not been done.

GM Paul Hickey responded by saying ‘the recommendation from the people involved in the galley was the employment of additional staff was a higher priority, a better investment than the contribution to Arts Northern Rivers.’

Cr Phillip Meehan concurred, saying a quarter of a million dollars to Arts Northern Rivers over ten years did not represent ‘value for money’. Although he acknowledged the peak body was a valuable entity, Cr Meehan said ‘we need to get the best bang for buck for our community’.

Arts Northern RiversCr Eoin Johnston said his impression was that Arts Northern Rivers ‘did some great things’ but was very Lismore-centric and ‘they need all the cultural things they can get hold of’.

Local or regional?

Cr Jeff Johnson said that the original decision to switch the funding had been supported because it came from Ballina council staff, but new information had since emerged.

‘It’s not helpful for regional organisations when individual member councils withdraw funding,’ he said. ‘It has the potential to put the whole organisation and their initiatives at risk.

Cr Jeff Johnson. Photo David Lowe.

‘If there is the feeling that there’s too much of a Lismore focus, well, let’s restore the funding and make those concerns known and and try and get additional regional programs,’ said Cr Johnson.

He argued that the funding should be restored for at least another year, noting that ‘the arts is a pretty important area for employment, mental health and social connectivity – it ticks lots of boxes. I think we should do more in this area,’ he said.

Ballina Council staff member Matt Wood responded by saying the gallery was not able to offer the programs it once did, and there was no other obvious source of funds.

Cr Sharon Cadwallader supported the staff position, saying there was little to show for a cumulative investment from Ballina into Arts Northern Rivers of $226,000.

Cr Parry responded by saying the Northern Rivers Community Gallery needed to change its name if it was going to become purely Ballina-centric, with no links to the wider region, but a motion to maintain Ballina Council’s funding for Arts Northern Rivers was eventually lost, with only Crs Parry and Johnson in support.

More stories about Ballina Shire Council:

Ballina Shire Council supports application for new croquet club

The Ballina Croquet Club is hoping to receive up to $300,000 in funding for a new club house at Cawarra Park. 


New gallery and studio breathes life into old church and graveyard

Was it divine intervention or western democracy that changed the fate of a former country church on the Northern Rivers last week?


Criticism of Ballina Cr Cadwallader’s water election tactics

The Ballina Environment Society (BES) has accused Ballina Councillor Sharon Cadwallader of politicising water security by using ‘the Dunoon Dam as one of her key concerns in her bid for mayor in September’s local government elections’.


Independent councillor brings Dunoon Dam into Ballina mayoral campaign

‘I think I’ve done my apprenticeship,’ independent Ballina Shire Councillor Sharon Cadwallader says after seventeen years in the role and announcing her intention to run for mayor.


Former Greens councillor to run for Ballina Mayor

Independent Ballina Shire Councillor Jeff Johnson has confirmed he’ll be running for mayor in September’s local government elections.


Previous article5G negotiations?
Next articleInfiltration facts

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Bruns North Arm

Jillian Spring, BillinudgelRegarding your article ‘A positive change to bring back the Bruns’, (Echo, 14 July). Since 2013/14 submissions to Council, a more in-depth submission (29...

History repeats

Peter Olson, Goonengerry History shows that when the media and the politicians turn against the people, eventually there is a backlash. It seems hard to imagine The...

Byron beach erosion

Ann Tiernan, Suffolk Park I strongly disagree with Council’s position stated in last week’s Echo that ‘The sand (at Clarkes Beach) will come back, but it...

A day of ‘thank you’

Alison Drover, Broken Head How about a day of ‘thank you’ to our health workers and ‘sorry’ from our prime minister and ‘please’ from the community? Instead...