500 signatures reached
To: Simon Overland, General Manager, Burnie City Council
Save Burnie's Community, Arts and Tourism Services
This campaign has ended.
Burnie City Council have made a decision to close the City's:
- Art Gallery;
- Visitor Information Centre;
- Paper Making Facilities at the Makers Workshop;
- Marketing, Events and Promotions department; and
- Community and Economic Development department.
The closure of these services will result in 25 redundancies and a loss of some of the City's main tourist attractions.
The loss of the arts, tourism attractions and the City's own community engagement sections will be hugely damaging to the fabric of Burnie.
We demand that Council reverse their decisions and stop these closures immediately.
Why is this important?
Burnie's arts, cultural and tourism sector is growing. Despite a pandemic, Burnie has seen domestic tourism return, and international tourism is on the cards sooner than anybody previously thought.
The City claims that their repeated deficits are to blame for these closures. These deficits were created through a reduction in rates, and they were planned for. These deficits are no surprise.
Council’s deficit last financial year was just $340,000; just 1% of their annual budget.
Council spent over $4 million on contract services last year and are expected to continue along this same trajectory into the future. Many of the services which were contracted out are services which could be done much cheaper in-house; such as cleaning, weed spraying, general construction and asphalt work.
Additionally, Council wasted over $550,000 in just five months last year on architectural services for a new Museum and Art Gallery, which will be thrown in the trash if these proposed changes go ahead.
It’s this wasteful approach to spending which is causing harm to the budget, not staffing these vital services for this community.
The decision to close many of the city's cultural institutions is incredibly short-sighted and extremely damaging to the fabric of Burnie.
Burnie City Council's employees worked right through the North-West's COVID-19 outbreak. The livelihoods of these dedicated, long term employees should be a key factor in any decision.
These closures will decimate any progress made towards a better Burnie for everyone and will result in a complete loss of vibrancy in the City.
The community have made their voices heard. Council has no mandate to close these services. The decision must be reversed.