Shellharbour City Hub survey proposal

Shellharbour City Councillor Peter Moran believes a phone survey conducted by a polling company would provide the council with an accurate opinion on Shellharbour residents’ support for the controversial City Hub project.

Councillor Peter Moran

Last month a call for a referendum on the hub was rejected by councillors with council staff putting the potential cost of a referendum at $250,000.

Tonight Cr Moran will move a notice of motion calling for a report on the possibility of the council having “public opinion polling” done in relation to the support – or lack of support – for the City Hub.

“We have had information passed on to us that a phone survey of residents that would be accurate within approximately 3 per cent can be done for $4800,” Cr Moran said.

“That would give us an idea of the level of support for this project.

“Council would not be bound by the results, but it would be a brave councillor to proceed with the project if it came out that 80 per cent of people were against the hub.”

Meantime the council’s general manager, Michael Willis, said the City Hub’s funding model ensured people who chose to buy property in Shellharbour in the future would contribute to the cost of the hub.

Mr Willis said it was fair that future ratepayers should also play their part in contributing to the hub.

“Our city’s population is expected to grow to more than 79,000 by 2031,” Mr Willis said.

“A city of that size needs a level of community facilities not currently available in Shellharbour.”

The council estimates it will need $10.1 million in loans for the hub, the remaining funds coming through asset sales ($35 million) and the $8.8 million already received in developer contributions.

The final loan figure depends on the amount of income received through property sales, and would be a maximum of $17 million.

“Later this year the council is due to evaluate tenders for the project, locking in a fixed price for the construction,” Mr Willis said.

The City Hub is to be built at the corner of Cygnet and College Avenues and includes an auditorium, civic square, city library and museum, cafe and shops, community meeting areas, council chambers and administration offices.

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