Champagne tastes on a beer budget?

CAPTION: Stop the Hub Community Group members, Diane Quinlin and Harry Gooden were at an Albion Park shopping precinct today to collect signatures against the Shellharbour City Hub development. Picture ELIZA WINKLER

CAPTION: Stop the Hub Community Group members, Diane Quinlin and Harry Gooden were at an Albion Park shopping precinct today to collect signatures against the Shellharbour City Hub development. Picture ELIZA WINKLER

THE vocal group opposing the proposed City Hub have slammed the plan’s “champagne tastes”.

The controversial $57 million Shellharbour City Hub development is on exhibition for public feedback and submissions until July 2. 

The proposal includes a civic centre, museum, auditorium, public library, council chamber, administration rooms and meeting rooms.

Stop the Hub Community Group were at an Albion Park shopping precinct today to collect signatures for their petition, which has already been signed by more than 9000 residents. 

Diane Quinlin from the group has called for residents to re-engage with the development process and “say no” to the hub.

“This is an enormous project, with huge expenditure and it is going to affect everyone for years,” Ms Quinlin said. “It is very important for people to go online and consider some alternatives.”

Ms Quinlin said the primary concern for the group was the money being spent on the new six-level administration offices.

“When you look at all the components of the hub, the administration building includes offices, quiet rooms, tea rooms, suites with bathroom facilities, executive terraces and kitchens,” she said.

“To me it seems council have champagne tastes, but they’re not paying for champagne, the people of Shellharbour are.”

“We want them to be in comfort, but this is luxury. It is total extravagance and they already have two buildings that they could renew.”

On the council website it states that the existing administration buildings were never intended to be long-term headquarters and Lamerton house would cost more in the long run and require greater borrowing.  

A council spokeswoman said the hub provides both public and administrative services from one location and means people can attend the site for a number of reasons at one time.

‘‘The proposed design of the hub will provide a one-stop-shop of services, at a level that’s not currently available in the Shellharbour local government area,’’ she said. 

“Staff economies of scale are achieved when you co-locate and centralise community services and infrastructure. 

 “There is also a strong environmental basis for locating services in one site. Co-locating facilities enables council to provide ecologically sustainable infrastructure, by reducing the amount of materials and energy required to run a number of services from the one complex."

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