Proposed move of Sutherland Library to Kirrawee brick pit site dead in the water

Not going anywhere: Sutherland Library is the central library in the network of eight council libraries in the shire. Picture: John Veage
Not going anywhere: Sutherland Library is the central library in the network of eight council libraries in the shire. Picture: John Veage

A proposal to move Sutherland Library to the Kirrawee brick pit development, South Village, has been scrapped.

Sutherland Shire Council decided, “after balancing considerations, there is no clear persuasive case in favour of the relocation”.

The council also decided to reject an offer by South Village developer Payce to buy all or part of the 1500 square metre community space.

Under a voluntary planning agreement when the project was approved, Payce has to dedicate 1500 square metres of open space for community use.

In 2016, Payce offered to build a 2500 square metre library, with the extra space to be made up by removing a proposed pond.

Cr Kent Johns said, when moving the motion in March, it was “a once in a lifetime opportunity” to get a modern, new library.

He said this week, “I lost”.

“I would have preferred a new, $25 million library that would have served the community, but the council wouldn’t support that, so I have got the next best outcome.

“The pond will be removed from the plans and be added to the general community space.”

Accepting the political reality, Cr Johns moved the motion for the library to stay put when the matter was discussed in closed session at council’s June 19 meeting.

The successful resolution included allocating $2.1 million in the 2017-18 budget to fit out the community space in South Village.

 An options paper on how the space will be used will be prepared by council staff by February next year.

The resolution said the aim would be to provide “the most modern and accessible community space”, which:

  • Becomes a community hub that is accessible and attractive to the full spectrum of our community;
  • Develops new spaces that promote play as a central part of childhood learning.
  • Engages teens in events that encourage deeper, long-lasting connections with our community.
  • Allows for places where students can access study tools;
  • Creates new programs that provides and facilitates our community of all ages and demographics to teach one another about digital media and resources.

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