How to move forward in a divided town?

by admin on July 13th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

The topic is now so controversial and so charged that it now seems difficult to move forward.
Nanjing Night Net

For Hepburn Shire Council, the Trentham Hub issue is so contentious that they’re now damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

The issue of where to place the Trentham Hub has been a problem now for a while.

It seems the town is divided in two. Half the town thinks the Mechanics Institute is old, decrepit and not worth keeping. They think it should be knocked down to make way for the much-needed Trentham Hub.

The other half of the town sees its heritage value and wants to preserve it into the future. They think the council should find an alternative site for the hub.

Hepburn Shire Council was planning to move forward with option A –until May’s meeting was overrun by passionate locals who wanted to save their hall.

It was then decided that the community consultation process essentially needed to go back to the drawing board, so everyone’s opinions and voices could be heard.

The latest option on the table is the idea of a “citizens’ jury”. But the thing is, neither the side that wants the hall demolished, not the side that wants the hall saved, are particularly impressed by the idea.

They think a citizens’ jury will simply get them into the same position they are now, with one campaigner suggesting any such jury would be “hung”.

Both sides are calling on the council to take leadership and make a decision without what they believe is the a time wasting and ineffective “solution”.

But the problem is, whatever decision the council makes –or indeed a citizens’ jury –has the potential to upset half the township.

What’s more, theTrentham Hub Community Reference Group feels it has been ignored, underfunded, under-publicised, and its ideas not listened to.Would a citizens’ jury lead to a similar result?

Surely the only solution is to abandon another round of consultations that could take months or years, and simply find an alternative site.

The result would be that the Save the Hall side would be able to make moves to restoring its beloved hall.

Meanwhile, those that are campaigning for the speedy build of the Hub –including theTrentham Hub Community Reference Group –would be able to direct energy into the community centre the town so desperately needs.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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