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Collection too costly

Saturday, 9th November, 2013

By By Erica Visser

City Council has established a Milton Lavers Collection committee but the deputy mayor says that acquiring the valuable mineral asset is “out of our league.”

Councillors Peter Black and Bob Algate nominated themselves for the committee which will pursue ownership of part or all of the $1.3 million collection.

Mr Lavers wishes to sell his collection but wants it to remain in local hands.

Council failed to attract an investor in a recent Expressions of Interest document for its Eyre Street Film Studios and there are no specific government funding opportunities available to obtain the mineral collection.

However, councillors last week endorsed General Manager Therese Manns to negotiate on its behalf to divert $1 million, that the State

Government had promised for a public bypass road, to another local venture.

The road to the Line of Lode and the Film Studios were the recommendations, but Ms Manns told councillors other projects could be considered.

But Deputy Mayor Marion Browne said that she did not think the Milton Lavers Collection would be an acceptable project to be put forward.

While the committee will look to “pursue acquisition” of the collection, Clr Browne said that Council had never resolved to do it with ratepayers’ money.

“Council has never taken it on as a project to buy the collection itself. That whole thing came up when Council’s finances were becoming the top story and there’s never been that motive as far as I can tell,” she said.

“It’s more about looking to see whether it can be kept locally.

“The whole thing...it just is out of our league at the moment. I think that even if it was a Council decision to buy it, it wouldn’t be acceptable to the Government.”

Meanwhile, Clr Black has said he was talking with “mining bosses” in the hope of finding a buyer.

Clr Black was adamant that the 8000-piece collection should be housed at the Broken Hill Geo Centre.

“It would be in the best interests of Broken Hill to see this collection retained,” he said.

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