by Mary Mortimer, Friends of Pyrmont Community Centre Convenor, July 2022 (from Bulletin 5 of 2022, July)
Friends of Pyrmont Community Centre celebrate a victory in their campaign for an alternative home! Pyrmont Community Centre will close for 70 weeks for renovations. Pyrmont’s choir and the monthly community dinner will move to the Harold Park Community Hall at the Tramsheds.
Community spaces – centres, town halls, libraries – belong to us, and must operate for our benefit. They should not be treated by Council as revenue raisers. Community groups across Sydney are asking Council to provide free access to our centres, with staff and programs for everyone. We also need simpler booking and access arrangements.
Residents pay rates, and Council’s stated aim is to provide accessible cultural and recreational activities for everyone. We know how important these connections are for our mental, physical and social wellbeing. The current system, where community groups are charged for hire, apply for a grant (involving paperwork by community members and Council staff), and – after weeks – have it approved, is being reviewed and hopefully redesigned.
An excellent first step is the Council’s decision to waive fees for the next 12 months, giving community groups free use of community venues, including public liability insurance.
This is great news for Glebe and Forest Lodge, as the Tramsheds hall can become a venue for community activities. Everyone is invited to join the choir, Pyrmont Sings!, which will rehearse there from Tuesday 19 July, and our monthly community dinners on the last Friday of each month.
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