Critics query sale of library building

CRITICS of the City Hub project have taken some comfort in Shellharbour City Council's support for Warilla Library to remain in the same precinct, but have still queried why the council put it up for sale.

The Shellharbour City Libraries and Museum Strategy 2024 has identified the library to be replaced on its current site, or in close proximity, by 2017.

At the council's recent meeting, councillor Helen Stewart said she was "pretty sure" councillors would support keeping the library in its current precinct.

"If council can accommodate the new library to be built in the new development in that area, then we will go down that path, I'm pretty sure," she said.

"For all the knockers, council do listen to what the community's saying."

Stop the Hub's Diane Quinlin welcomed the statement.

"But then again, they are selling the site - they shouldn't have chosen that option," she said.

Resident Mark Jones addressed the council during public access, querying the replacement time of 2017.

"If the hub is being built in 2015 and library is being sold, does this mean that Warilla would be without a library for over two years or would the redevelopment be brought forward if the site is sold?" he said.

General manager Michael Willis said any money gained as a result of including the library in the sale would be invested in the new building.

"So there's no net gain in this for the City Hub other than the potential sale of the whole site may actually increase the value of both small pieces, in other words, the sum is greater than the parts," he said.

"Any additional funds from the sale that can be attributed to the Warilla Library being included goes towards the new Warilla Library.

"There will be a replacement service provided in some form of temporary accommodation, pending a final decision on where a new branch library is going to be."

However, Ms Quinlin questioned what use the sale funds would be.

"If you sell the site, you've got the money to the first few years' leasing costs - it doesn't make sense," she said.

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