Visitor Centre troubles Councillor
Wednesday, 1st May, 2019
By Emily McInerney
City Council’s decision to not swap the police station with the Visitor Information Centre still has one councillor concerned about the VIC moving to the new Cultural Hub.
“All that’s happened is that the police won’t move to the VIC, not that the VIC will stay in the building over the long term,” Councillor Tom Kennedy said yesterday.
“Nothing has happened to say that it will stay where it is.
“In the Cultural Hub plans it does talk about a move.”
The Cultural Framework around the new library and cultural precinct was officially adopted at Council’s monthly meeting last week with all references to the proposed VIC site swap for a new police station removed from the plans.
However, last week YMCA Young Leaders Broken Hill president, Kelsie Mitchell, said there was a consensus that Visitor Information Centres don’t appeal to the young.
“For people without access to the internet, it is bound to be really important but not particularly for us.”
Clr Kennedy said VICs were important
“I think the vast majority of people still use VICs; they are located throughout the state,” he said.
“They are an important point of information for people. Even Mildura is developing a stand alone VIC.
“As a community, having a VIC means you can put out the information you want to help promote the town.”
Clr Kennedy said the building on the corner of Blende and Bromide streets had been purpose-built to house a VIC.
“It provides access to buses and large vehicles,” he said.
“What needs to be developed is creating more commercial rent for the building.
“The building has the potential to receive $100,000 in rent per year.
“Currently they are only getting $15,000 which is ridiculous.
“There are a number of cost reduction ideas that could be created for the building.”
He said renting out the empty offices in the VIC would increase revenue and VIC staff could help promote the town.
“The staff have a wealth of knowledge and they could go to caravan and camping shows.
“They have the talent to spread how good the town is and promote Broken Hill.”
Clr Kennedy said he had been contacted by people looking to rent space at the VIC, only to be told that there was nothing available.
But a Council spokesman said they were trying to find new tenants.
“Council is not aware of anyone being refused a rental opportunity at the VIC due to a lack of space,” the spokesman said.
“In fact, in late 2018, Council engaged First National Broken Hill in a concerted effort to secure new tenants for the VIC, and we encourage anyone with an interest in renting space at the centre to contact Zeta Bennett at First National.”
The rent Council receives from the VIC is $17,622 and it costs $519,315 to run it.