Culture Committee calls on moratorium on arts precinct

Gosford’s International Culture Committee has called for a moratorium on the signing of contracts relating to the site for an arts precinct “so that a plan to bring an internationally significant cultural facility to Gosford can be pursued.

The State Government’s recently-released Draft Central Coast Regional Plan identified the old Gosford Public School site as the centre of an arts and entertainment precinct, according to Kate de Costa, International Culture Committee Gosford spokesperson.

“However it also states that the Central Coast Regional Development Corporation is proceeding with the sale of part of the site for commercial development,” Ms de Costa said.

“This contradiction reveals a major shortcoming with the draft plan,” she said. “It fails to take into account the region’s defi cit in major cultural infrastructure and the internationally recognised value of signifi cant investment in the arts and the creative industries in driving economic growth and regional vitality.

“The draft plan follows the conventional planning template of population growth, public infrastructure (roads etc.), small business support and corporate investment: thinking locally and acting locally.

“What is missing is awareness that new technologies are making cultural participation a global practice. “We, at the International Culture Committee Gosford, endorse the arts precinct assessment, but insist that it is imperative a moratorium be put on signing contracts for the site.

“This is a once-in-alifetime opportunity to achieve an iconic venue of world standard, and establish a game-changing institution that would become a key driver in the future growth of our region.

“The proposed venue would create the core critical mass around which would coalesce local innovation, themed festivals, and biennales. “The evidence from around the world in support of our strategy is overwhelming, and easily researched.

“Public service office blocks and short-term political compromises will always fall short of what we can achieve and deserve.

“The Draft Central Coast Regional Plan must be revised to recognise the critical and essential role that is played in urban regional development by the arts and culture, as well as the Gosford community’s clearly expressed desire for a significant cultural facility on that site.

“Gosford is perfectly located for an amazing cultural venue – all we need for that to be realised is for the state government to join the ICC Gosford Committee and the Gosford community to negotiate with international institutions, individuals, and potential consortium partners.

MedCia release,
Nov 30, 3015
Kate da Costa, ICC