Council formally agrees to cinema partnership

Media release - 29 May 2017

An extraordinary meeting held late last week, saw Kempsey Shire Council resolve to enter into legal contracts for a Public Private Partnership agreement with Gowing Bros and Majestic Cinemas. Finalising this partnership agreement means the construction of the four screen cinema complex would be complete by December 2018.

Mayor Liz Campbell acknowledged a lengthy discussion on the topic as Councillors sought clarification on a number of legal matters from representatives of Gowings and Majestic.

"This is a serious commitment and I'm proud of our Councillors for continuing to investigate and debate before reaching the conclusion that we formally enter into this partnership," said Cr Campbell.

Contracts will be signed once notification has been received from the Office of Local Government (OLG) concurring that Council has complied with the Public Private Partnership Guidelines of the Local Government Act. This outcome is anticipated from an OLG meeting scheduled for mid-June.

"Having the Council resolution in place means we can act immediately once we have heard from the OLG," said Cr Campbell.

The report to the extraordinary Council meeting, available on Council's website, outlines the full detail of the proposed Public Private Partnership and the projected turnover, as provided in the business case to the Office of Local Government.

It outlines the financial contributions in the partnership including the $2 million Federal Government grant and the $2 million of funding from reserves that Council is investing into the cinema construction.

"There are huge economic and social benefits anticipated from this investment. It is estimated 22 direct jobs will be created after construction in addition to the jobs protected in existing businesses, by boosting the foot traffic into the CBD.

"As a partner in this business, Council will be looking for a return on investment from the cinema operations. Market research and modelling along with a community survey indicates good patronage but that can't be proven till the facility exists.

"There is a risk that if the community isn't buying tickets Council may not see its contribution returned. However this is an investment in building a social and economic hub in the centre of Kempsey, which will create more opportunities for people to live in and visit the Macleay," concluded Cr Campbell.