This evening, Wollongong City Council voted by a 14 to 2 majority to support a proposal that the former Bridge Street Theatre at Coniston, Wollongong, be sold to Phoenix Theatre Inc for $1.00.
Addressing media following the meeting, Phoenix Theatre’s lawyer Aaron Kernaghan (of Kernaghan & Associates) said,
“Phoenix Theatre has an opportunity to continue its already successful flight, exploring new options in theatre and new ways to promote and consolidate the performing arts in the area. Council’s decision reflects its robust commitment to the performing arts sector in this region and continuing to provide opportunities to all aspects of the theatrical market space.”
The Council meeting heard impassioned and detailed debate from Councillors supporting the proposal while encouraging Phoenix to continue its commitment to provide access and support to the community of performing arts practitioners throughout the region.
“Of course, Phoenix has had to weather its share of disgruntlement from elements in the community who seem to have misconceived the process as some sort of secretive tender process (expressions of interest were sought from the community by Council as long ago as July 2015). Misinformation tends to conjure misery and discontent in the theatre while permitting often long-blunted axes to be sharpened once again. All of that is in the past now and the facts are, Phoenix has a chance to step forward boldly and energetically to continue it’s fine contribution to the community and to enhance the cultural life of Wollongong.”
Phoenix Theatre Inc was at pains to express its thanks to all those who supported the proposal before Council, with many writing letters of support to Council and their passionate views noted by the Councillors themselves,
“The community has been heard by Council and the overwhelming tune they’re hearing is one of collegiate support and respect. It bodes well for the future,” said Aaron Kernaghan.
For the full text of Phoenix Theatre’s address to the Public Forum at Council, click here: PHOENIX THEATRE INC ADDRESS TO COUNCIL 30 May 2016.
To watch video of the proceedings, proceed here.