Council vote on gallery proposal

ADAM ORLANDOBunbury Herald

The City of Bunbury is on the brink of getting a $30 million regional art gallery with art collector Lloyd Horn’s proposal to be voted on by the council tonight.

At last week’s committee meeting the council endorsed Lot 681 Koombana Drive, west of The Plug boating channel facing the Leschenault Inlet, as a site appropriate for an art gallery and ancillary uses.

The council has advised Bunbury MLA John Castrilli of its support for the project.

The gallery, proposed by Mr Horn and millionaire property developer Geoff Prosser, would connect the entertainment centre precinct through the sculptured garden to the art gallery, convention centre and Koombana Bay.

In a council document, acting chief executive officer Geoff Klem said although the project was compatible with the ‘‘current strategic and statutory documents governing the land’’, issues such as sourcing capital, the potential to defray the operational costs with a revenue stream from commercial leases and architectural design needed to be assessed.

‘‘Before embarking on a critical review of the architectural design and site layout, council needs to decide if the proposed location is suitable for an art gallery and ancillary uses and if so, what is the most appropriate use for the existing art gallery building,’’ Mr Klem said.

‘‘Council also needs to establish the scope of the project.

‘‘Whilst the art gallery is clearly acceptable, council needs to determine what other uses would be appropriate as part of the project.

‘‘The proposed convention and function centre may not however be appropriate, given the expansion project by the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre.’’

Cr Noel Whittle recently told the Bunbury Herald the proposal was ‘‘great’’, but the scale of the development on that part of the site went against ‘‘the aspirations of a significant sector of the community’’.

‘‘Any built development on that part of the site poses a real threat to the Australia Day fireworks,’’ Cr Whittle said.

Planning Minister John Day is assessing the proposal and whether such a large-scale development could be built on the site.

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