Maclean library swap quashed

By SALLY GORDON

sally.gordon@dailyexaminer.com.au

CLARENCE Valley councillors yesterday voted to ditch a proposal to turn the Maclean library site into a supermarket.

Councillors voted 5-4 to halt moves to swap the Stanley Street library site for a supermarket.

The tight vote followed spirited discussion between councillors, a number of whom said residents had strongly opposed shifting the library.

Maclean councillor Joy Mathews said many opposed shifting the library.

Maclean councillor Joy Mathews said many people were not interested in changing aspects of such an important community asset.

"My ear to the ground is telling me that people are not keen about the library shift and we must listen to what they are saying," she said. "People do not want to see Maclean change ... there is a definite movement out there of people not wanting to see the library move, they don't see the benefits in it."

The push to dump the library site proposal was put forward by mayor Ian Tiley who asked council to think about their core functions and fiscal responsibilities.

He also reminded councillors of the advice received from a State library building consultant which said the library would be moving to an inferior location if shifted to the Spar supermarket site.

"We had the benefit of the State library report which told us there was no perceived benefits of moving the library to the Spar site," Cr Tiley said. "We need to think seriously about the financial implications ... renovating the supermarket to make it suitable for a library would be reasonably substantial," Cr Tiley said.

Yamba councillor Doug Mackenzie however moved to keep proposals on the table requesting the item be deferred pending the outcome of a Lower Clarence retail study and a more detailed investigation into the Spar supermarket site as a library.

In October 2005, the council dismissed a proposal from the Spar Supermarket owners for a swap of their supermarket site at River Street for the library site, plus part of the Centenary Drive car park.

n Continued: P4.



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