Hub heat increases

AS the number of signatures grows to stop the City Hub going ahead, Shellharbour City Council has mounted its own campaign to ensure residents have the facts before making a decision.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said the council had received reports of an anti-hub lobby group entering libraries and "accosting" visitors, asking shop owners to sign the petition to help save the jobs of library staff, and knocking on residents' doors and telling them the petition was supported by the majority of elected councillors.

"A lot of people don't know what they're signing," she said.

"Development of the City Hub will not result in library closures and no library jobs are under threat.

"We have even been told the lobbyists claim to have the support of most councillors, and that is simply not true. All of the councillors are available to speak to residents if they wish to find out their position on this project and ascertain the truth."

Currently, the Stop the Hub group has gained 2500 signatures - it needs 10,000 to have the issue debated in State Parliament.

Group convener Diane Quinlin said members were in the Warilla Library car park and had not entered the building.

"It's all lies," she said.

"We haven't been accosting people - we don't need to because what we have found is people are coming up to us saying, 'thank you for giving us the opportunity to be heard'.

"The online petition lists 10 points - these allegations are not there and what's on the petition is what we are saying to people."

Ms Quinlin said the group wanted Warilla Library to remain the central library. It felt the library and museum could could be housed at the old Warilla council chambers, with Lamerton House extended as staff numbers grew.

"They can sell this dreadful [hub] site and use the money to fund it," she said.

At last week's council meeting, councillor John Murray presented a notice of motion on the development's history.

"I felt a lot of these facts weren't getting out there and I felt the only way we were going to get them out there was to put them on the public record," he said.

"We're working towards the project going ahead on the assumption that the figures will stack up - if the figures don't stack up, it's a different proposition. I respect people's right to disagree and if they disagree on the facts, I'm fine with that.

"I really don't like being disagreed against when they're disagreeing on not-facts."

For more information contact council on 4221 6111 or visit their website. The petition is at communityrun.org/petitions/stop-the-hub.

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