Council to continue cinema negotiations

Media release - 27 June 2017

Kempsey Shire Council have resolved to continue negotiations with the Office of Local Government, seeking a positive assessment of the Public Private Partnership to build a cinema in Kempsey.

Councillors were advised by Gowing Bros that the building contractor is able to accommodate a minor extension of time and still meet the scheduled opening date of December 2018, which has created an opportunity to continue negotiations.

The decision reached at tonight’s extraordinary Council meeting, came after reviewing proposed responses to the questions raised by the Project Review Committee (PRC).

General Manager, David Rawlings explains that many of the issues raised by the PRC, including the independent accountants report, consider purely legislative and economic parameters.

“Council have always been very clear that this project is about boosting the economy, creating jobs and providing a social hub in the CBD of Kempsey. Many of the points raised in the accountants report don’t consider this holistic approach.

“There is no doubt that this project comes with some financial risk and Council have endeavoured to explain those risks to our community. If we were purely making a commercial judgement more weight would be given to that risk.

“The discussion among Councillors acknowledged the fact that the risk of not doing anything in the post Pacific Highway bypass Kempsey is too significant for the long term future of our community.

“The documents we will now submit back to the PRC address all the issues raised,” concluded Mr Rawlings.

Council’s website has been updated with further background information and common questions regarding the cinema project, www.kempsey.nsw.gov.au/cinema