An open letter to the Shire of Augusta Margaret River Community regarding Margaret River HEART

There has been quite a lot of community talk about the future management of the new Margaret River HEART. Purposeful and healthy debate shows we are a fit community. The Shire would like to add to the discussion by stating its intentions with HEART.

The Shire’s aim is to make sure that community access to the new venue is affordable and equitable. The venue will deliver a range of expanded programs, activities and events that meets the needs of our community as a whole, and as the name suggests, it will be a Hub for Entertainment, Arts and Regional Tourism, including attraction of business tourism opportunities. The Shire also aims to build social capacity through the establishment of a range of volunteering opportunities, traineeships, and partnerships with organisations such as TAFE and other educational institutions.

The new Margaret River HEART is a multipurpose community venue. The size, scale, capabilities and services of the venue will create a range of new opportunities for the community, culture and arts sectors, once it is open. The introduction of business tourism (conferences and events) will support local businesses and is one of the major reasons millions of dollars in State funding was given to the project.

In order for the Shire to ensure our community’s needs are met and with consideration of the venue’s future financial performance, a review of Governance and Management options for the HEART has been undertaken. Councillors will be asked to consider three different models at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 28 August 2019. They are:

  1. Shire managed venue, supported by an annual Community Culture and Arts Grant funding program to support a range of cultural and arts events within the HEART
  2. Shire managed venue, with the Shire entering into a contract with a single service provider for an annual culture and arts program for a fixed fee; or
  3. Fully outsourced venue management model, with the venue manager being responsible for the full operations and therefore taking revenue from the entire spectrum of HEART activities.

The Council agenda item with the three models detailed will be made publicly available on the agenda for the Ordinary Council Meeting on 28 August 2019.

It should be noted that the current venue manager, Arts Margaret River, have a fixed term license agreement which expires on 31 December 2019, and are aware that a review to determine the future management model for the HEART is underway.
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