Image: Artist's impression of Pyrmont Community Centre upgrades. Photo: City of Sydney
By SASHA FOOT
Clover Moore’s Independent team defeated a motion that would grant Pyrmont Community Centre a workable relocation space while $5.7 million upgrades take place.
Five councillors of the Clover Moore Independent Team rejected the motion put forward by Liberal Councillor Shauna Jarrett and Labor Councillor Linda Scott earlier this month. Clover Moore used her casting vote to defeat the tied motion.
A City of Sydney spokesperson said that “while [council] received requests to lease a third venue to run programs in Pyrmont during the upgrade works, this would cost over $500,000.”
Cr Jarrett expressed to City Hub that “other councillors” to the Clover Moore Team “want to get this resolved.” The tied motion, she said, was a “great example of the five non-Clover councillors coming together to show our support for the community.”
The convener of the Friends of Pyrmont Community Group, Mary Mortimer, welcomes the renovation but believes community engagement will diminish if the council does not offer a leased premise during the two-year renovation period.
“Once the building is completed in two years, it won’t have the same community to draw on,” Mortimer said.
Pyrmont Community Centre currently offers an extensive schedule with over 50 activities. Mortimer recognises that due to the sheer scale of the centre’s community output, “activities will not be able to continue in the spaces that Council has offered.”
“Apparently when the plans were drawn up for the renovations, they didn’t make a proper provision for an alternative,” Mortimer explains.
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Cr Jarrett also expressed concern that an unsuitable replacement will bring about “an increased loss of community” as the centre has previously faced two years of Covid-19 related closures.
The City of Sydney will relocate the centre’s activities to the nearby Maybanke Recreation Centre, while Ultimo Community Centre will accommodate activities that require larger spaces.
However, Cr Jarrett says that the “Maybanke Recreation Centre is completely unsuitable; there is just one room downstairs and another upstairs which has no disability access.”
The City of Sydney spokesperson stated that the council has “drafted a plan that outlines where programs and services can be temporarily provided.”
The spokesperson clarified that “if certain activities cannot be run at Maybanke or Ultimo community centres, [the council] will look at hiring more spaces as needed.”
The Friends of Pyrmont group launched a petition two weeks ago that has gathered over 250 signatures.
“Friends of Pyrmont group are doing the work, looking at alternatives, thinking about how they are going to keep their community together,” Cr Jarrett said. “Council should be stepping up to help them.”