I was the ONLY dissenting Councillor who voted against the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM). I love art, but we already have an award winning small art gallery in an iconic building. Plonking a new multi-level structure at the lake, is not only ill-planned, expensive and potentially unsightly, but also diverts Council attention away from progressing further stages of the CBD Revitalisation Project, which are WAY overdue.
The first Stage of the CBD Revitalisation Project was Vaughan Central. Since then, the project has stalled. Instead of getting on with it, Council still doesn’t have detailed designs for Maude St, we missed out on two major grant applications and haven’t acquired land for public toilets to help service the Coles/Kmart area, despite land acquisition resolutions being moved approximately 12 months ago!
First impressions are so important. Council want to position Greater Shepparton as an ‘Events City’ and claim SAM will draw a lofty 1000 visitors per week – sounds terrific, but wouldn’t it make more sense to fix the CDB first so these visitors have a chance to spend money and offer positive ‘word of mouth’ advertising for Shepparton?
Small business make up 30% of our economy and, in my opinion, SAM is 10 years too early. I want Councillors who prioritise the needs of small business and CBD, ahead of ‘wants’ like the new SAM.