The PerfexInc. Mission:
"To bring to completion the construction of a centre for the performing and visual arts, to meet the current and future needs of the Batemans Bay Community"
PerfexInc does this by working with the Arts and wider community, and liaising with Council to forward this project.
Perfex also directly supports the Arts in the Bay, including donating two amounts towards prizes for the St Cecilia Music scholarship award; and also to the local Photographic club’s annual exhibition.
Can you help?
Join us and help bring this wonderful facility to your community:
- Become a member for only $20 ($30 for families), and/or
- join the committee and use your interests and skills to support our activities in any way you can.
Year Overview – 2019
June 2019 update – Mackay Park Indoor Aquatic and Arts Centre project
On the 29th April 2015 the Eurobodalla Shire Council purchased the Batemans Bay Bowling Club from the Catalina Club although settlement did not occur until early in the 2016/17 financial year. The Council sought Expressions of Interest from the public as to
- how the Bowling Club site could be used in its current state and
- secondly what should be provided when the current building is demolished and replaced.
PerfexInc submitted an extensive proposal on each of the possibilities.
Following submissions, the council changed its mind on developing the Bowling Club and opted to change its site designation to ‘Operational’, with the intent of selling the land on the open market rather than keeping it for ‘community use’ as was the stated reason for buying it. This plan will resume once the RMS has vacated the site after the building of the New Bridge. (The RMS has demolished the Old Bowling Club and now uses the site as a plant/offices site.)
It was then proposed that a combined Indoor Aquatic and Arts Centre be constructed on the existing 50 metre pool site in Mackay Park. A consultant firm (Otium) was engaged to draw a concept plan for the building and to submit a draft business plan. The plan for the building was considered grossly inadequate as a plan and iconic vision for the Bay by the Arts community, as it proposed an alley effect externally, on the highway, and a rabbit warren of corridors internally. The issues of air quality and chlorine issues were not resolved.
Following this, in responding to the need for an Arts space and an indoor Aquatic facility in the Bay, several grants were applied for by Council and they were successful in gaining grants of $51 million from State and Federal coffers.
In 2018 NBRS Architects were engaged to produce three concept plan options. These went on display in late 2018 to much community discussion. There appeared to be little regard for community submissions (with small galleries, no viable kitchen, etc) but a key change by the architects in two of the plans showed the centre as two separate buildings, and this was greeted warmly.
After extensive consultation the community’s submissions were collated and the Architects were to be briefed in April 2019 with an eye to a fourth and final plan being developed. We hope to see changes related to community input in this, to be released later in 2019.
A tender is then planned, to be issued and returned before the end of 2019.
The Council continues to do the background work needed for the project including searches for indigenous artifacts; water movement planning; bedrock surveying; electricity and infrastructure adaptions. The Council is negotiating with the Minigolf business for its relocation.
Perfex continues to be fully involved with the process, putting in full analytical responses to the concept plans and collated views from wide sections of the community. We have high hopes that the Theatre/Arts building will be an iconic piece of architecture but also be a vital part of community life.
Many questions are still to be answered, however, including a current business and management plan for the project being made available to the public, and questions of affordability of use by the community. The final plan will give more clarity on its community usefulness and accessibility.
The Old Bowlo
RMS procured the use of the Bowing Club site for their machinery and plant needs for the duration of the building of the new bridge over the Clyde. As part of that agreement the old Bowling Club was demolished. There were several community responses to this including a reminiscing event at the Museum. A banner with ‘Memories of the Bowlo’ on it was attached to the RMS hoarding. Some of the memorabilia from the old Bowling Club was gained by the local museum for their collection.
Batemans Bay Community Centre’s future?
Linked to the Mackay Park development is the proposed disposal of the Batemans Bay Community Centre and the Tourism centre. Perfex and other organisations (such as U3A, Chamber of commerce and Meals on Wheels) have opposed the sale of the Community centre as it sees it has great value for locals, especially in tourist times. It is accessible (financially and practically) and avoids long traffic queues. It has good parking, green spaces and good facilities, including a very functional kitchen and freezers utilised by Meals on Wheels (who will not have a place in the new centre). This is the services end of town – the nuts and bolts area, whereas Mackay Park is shaping up to be a tourism-focussed entertainment centre in many respects.
The BAS and The Gardens
During this same period of development of the Mackay Park precinct, the BAS gallery has been built in Moruya as an extension of the Moruya library. There was an enormous crowd at the opening, demonstrating a strong creative ethos in the community there and the towns around. What will be the relationship to Arts in Moruya and the Bay in the future? This is yet to be seen. No community facility was required to be given up to pay for ongoing operational costs of the BAS, as is the premise for consideration of disposing of the BBComm Centre. So the question remains: ‘why should we’?
There is also to be a development at the Eurobodalla Botanic Gardens to include a larger gallery, workshop spaces and a larger café. What role each development will take is yet to be seen but it may be that Council wants Moruya to become the primary Visual Arts space; that Batemans Bay to focus on Theatre Arts, and the Botanic Gardens to specialise in workshops. This concept has not been tested in the community and we would question the ‘fit’, especially the assumption that the Bay could support a Performing Arts Centre on its own.
Whatever the result, there will be more visible expression of the Arts in the north of the Shire in the coming years, which could be very exciting, and something we have worked long and hard for.