The decision by the new Bass Coast Shire Council not to proceed with a commitment to the Redevelopment of the Cowes Cultural Centre, has been met with amazement and disillusionment by all the individuals, groups and businesses who have supported and worked together to enable this exciting project to achieve fruition.
The new building would house a modern library, the community and learning centre, an upgraded museum, Artists Society, Genealogical Society, community gallery, a hall and provide spaces for cinema and theatre and the tourist industry.
Phillip Island Nature Parks (PINP) was to have rented the commercial area and enabled the education and understanding of the Island’s precious environment and wildlife.
The building’s design created an interactive place for people to come, learn and have a meaningful experience.
It was with disbelief that those sitting in the gallery at the council meeting became aware that two of the Island councillors, Mayor Rothfield and Cr Fullarton were to vote against the project going forward.
Phillip Island Stand Alone has been constantly saying that the council is not investing funds on the Island.
This was the opportunity for our councillors to support the redevelopment with pride and a belief in the community’s future.
Cr Whelan and Cr Ellis and Cr Le Serve from the Western Port Ward voted in favour.
It has never been or never should be a cultural centre or a swimming pool.
They are both important and not an either/or.
Having spent my working life in the health industry, I know the importance of the activity of swimming.
I was the person who called the first Public Meeting in Cowes about the need for a pool, many years ago.
Residents and visitors will continue to comment on the drabness, the tiredness, the absence of a sense of place in the Cowes township.
Those who dared to dream that it could be otherwise, are experiencing a great sense of loss.
Anne Davie, Ventnor.