Letters to the editor: Plans for central Dunsborough, arts centre

Letters to the editor: Plans for central Dunsborough, price of Busselton arts centre still in question

Development in Dunsborough

Dear Future Historical Archaeologist,

Thank you for finding this letter. We messed the place up.

Frank Bear, Dunsborough

Dunsborough Central vision

I am really pleased that we can now share our vision for Dunsborough Central.

The town centre landmark proposal has been over a year in planning, making sure the look and design, exciting mixed-use options and community benefits are the absolute best.

I want to assure everyone that the tallest tree in the centre of Dunsborough - an amazing Marri - will be a focal point, cared for by an arborist and celebrated in the development design, along with public open and garden spaces and a giant community-inspired mural.

Dunsborough Central is something new, but it is not out of character with the town and is certainly designed in line with local regulations.

Dunsborough and the town centre are eclectic, vibrant, relaxed and rapidly growing areas, and this development will fit that - and help future-proof for new and visiting residents.

The development is six storeys at one end facing the creek and light industrial area, and at the lower end the street frontage will be both attractive and inviting for all.

Traffic planning has been comprehensive, including studies from July this year and projections for 2023 when we hope the building will operate, and in 10 years' time. There is absolutely no chance that Dunsborough will be overrun with traffic as a result of this development.

Please don't be confused, Dunsborough Central is about celebrating the town and showcasing everything it has to offer, and I'm pleased we got to share this vision before the end of the year.

Colin Lofts, Dunsborough Central project manager

Future of the arts centre

It is commendable to read in the local paper that Ray Mountney, a Busselton business owner and member of the Bay-to-Bay Action Group, commented that although he did not agree with building the Busselton Performing Arts and Convention Centre (BPACC), it was time to respect the 5-4 decision of the Council to go ahead with the construction.

I wish I could feel the same as Mr Mountney. I am disappointed that the arts community were not satisfied with a single-story building as was proposed many years ago.

One can only hope that this centre does not become a huge financial burden to our community for many reasons.

The increase of our rates will affect many who are already struggling - as Cr Ryan pointed out there are a large amount of outstanding rates by those who obviously cannot afford them.

I would like to ask the pro-BPACC people; does this fact concern them at all?

Will the community groups wishing to hire the centre be able to afford it?

Will you be prepared to volunteer your services when there are limited funds to pay staff?

Will you be prepared to participate in fundraising to assist the City with this huge debt?

The Bunbury community raised money to contribute to the building of the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre but I do not believe the Busselton arts community have raised anything towards the BPACC.

The Busselton community has raised money for the WELD theatre's renovations and equipment but this is not part of the BPACC $44.5m commitment.

I do not agree with spending this extravagant amount on this centre at this time.

It is not in the best interests of the majority of this City and we may all suffer the consequences in the future.

Norma (surname withheld), Busselton

Price of centre still in question

I attended the Shire Meeting last Wednesday night to see what, if anything, was happening regarding the proposed new BPACC.

The public gallery was full to overflowing with artists and performers who pleaded their case to the councillors.

We heard wonderful stories of their many artistic accomplishments, one even performing at the 50th birthday of Prince Charles.

But in all of that, I didn't hear one of them make any suggestions as to how we could raise the money.

One speaker mentioned she had 700 members in her group. Perhaps they could be contacted for ideas?

Or they could donate $100 each to start the ball rolling? Maybe one of them knows somebody who knows somebody in high places?

The 'average bear' in Busselton is aware of the vast talent in our wonderful patch - but when it's all boiled down, the main fact is the lack of available money for such a huge concept - and we all know you can't get blood out of a stone.

Unfortunately they left before the last speaker, a retired engineer who spent 15 years as a Capital Delivery Strategy Manager for a public utility in Perth, managing a billion dollar program.

Because of his history, he was able to throw some realistic weight behind the money angle for BPACC.

He said that all projects of this type i.e. constructions worth millions of dollars, statistically have a 25% overrun to the original project budget, based on worldwide institute back analysis of major projects. He then cautioned the council to be aware that they would not get BPACC at the 'sticker price'.

Something for us all to think about.

Jill Ilott, Abbey

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