Port Macquarie Arts and Craft Centre members call for new building

Call for new facility: Port Macquarie Arts and Craft Centre secretary Heather Chettle and president Mavourna Collits said their current building no longer suits their needs.

Call for new facility: Port Macquarie Arts and Craft Centre secretary Heather Chettle and president Mavourna Collits said their current building no longer suits their needs.

Port Macquarie Arts and Craft Centre (PMACC) members say their current facility is inadequate for their needs and is literally falling down around them. 

President Mavourna Collits said when the centre was constructed in the 1970s and 1980s,  building regulations were not to the same standard as what they are today.

The building is infested with white ants. The group spend about $2000 every year to treat the problem. However parts of the centre have become unstable. 

“The ceiling came down a couple of weeks ago,” Ms Collits said. 

“The beams that were holding up the ceiling had white ants in them.” 

There are four art and craft groups which utilize the centre for a variety of activities, however due to a lack of space some groups have had to turn members away who wanted to join. 

Ms Collits believes that a new facility will both encourage and allow new members to join art and craft groups. 

A facility with a display space for their work would be ideal, as currently the members’ art is at risk of falling and getting damaged as some window panels have given way to white ants. 

The group are exploring options with the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and the local member to gain access to another facility. 

Port Macquarie local member Leslie Williams said she has visited the Port Macquarie Arts and Craft Centre on many occasions and supported them with funding for urgent repairs as well as facility upgrades.

She recognises that the building is inadequate to accommodate members for the long term.

Mrs Williams said the group and others in the community play a vital role by allowing people to develop and enhance skills in a range of mediums and also provide important social engagement.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council mayor Peter Besseling said opportunities are being explored for the PMACC to co-locate with other community organisations such as the Community College and Port Macquarie Mens Shed, who are also seeking more permanent occupancies.

Mr Besseling said there is the potential for surplus NSW Education Department land located in Port Macquarie to fulfil the funding requirement of available land.

He said there is no other readily available council building to permanently house PMACC or other community groups.

Council group manager Liam Bulley said council has had ongoing conversations with PMACC regarding the condition of the building.

Mr Bulley said under the conditions of the lease council will continue to ensure that the building is to a safe and acceptable standard. 

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