QUEANBEYAN Council is continuing to investigate the potential of attracting a cinema operator into the Queanbeyan CBD with further discussions to be held this week with an as-yet unnamed cinema company.
Council has received a commercial proposal from the cinema operator for Council to own a state of the art multi-screen cinema, which would be run by the cinema operator under a long term lease.
Councillors have already held two workshops with the cinema company over the last 24 months to discuss the proposal, which involves leasing some Council-owned land in the CBD to the cinema operator on a long-term commercial lease basis at no cost to ratepayers.
And last week Mayor Tim Overall moved a motion at the May meeting of Council to survey residents on their support for the hybrid Council/private provider cinema model, to be carried out by an independent survey company at a cost of $10,000.
However the proposal was rejected by councillors at last week's meeting, with Crs Jamie Cregan and Brian Brown both noting widespread public support for a cinema in Queanbeyan.
"We're going to spend $10,000 to ask Queanbeyan residents if they want a cinema? We already know they want a cinema," Cr Brown said.
While Cr Overall said he was disappointed with that decision, he said talks would progress with a cinema operator this week.
"The commercial terms [we're proposing] would be similar to that successfully entered into by another NSW local council and an operator. This commercial proposal essentially means Council would become a critical partner in the delivery of the project with mutual benefits for the partners rather than just being an advocate or facilitator," he said.