Plans for a multi-million dollar regional art gallery on the Leschenault Inlet foreshore are expected to be scrapped at tonight’s Bunbury City Council meeting.
Council staff have instead recommended that the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries be expanded across the adjacent car park and cement its status as the city’s premier arts venue.
The sensitive issue has garnered much debate about the future of the visual arts in Bunbury and the best location for a regional facility.
Cr Michelle Steck said dumping the ‘‘Foreshore Gallery’’ was short-sighted and the current galleries were ‘‘tired, worn and had seen its day’’.
‘‘Bunbury has the rare opportunity to achieve an art gallery that would be a community asset for generations,’’ she said.
‘‘The only way to save the future of the gallery is to call in the people of Bunbury to rally and save visual arts in this region, come to the meeting. If this motion gets over the line, the opportunity to provide a better Bunbury would have gone down with the hammer.’’
Cr Steck, who is in a relationship with WA Liberal Party President Geoff Prosser, said the curr ent mot ion showed a lack of vision for the region’s culture and visual arts.
Mr Prosser and prolific art collector Lloyd Horn brought the foreshore gallery proposal to the council in 2010.
Staff have recommended the council abandon the Leschenault Inlet as the preferred site due to a number of concerns.
The core concern is that capital and operating costs of the $45 million for the Foreshore Gallery would be far beyond the council’s budget.
The existing galleries are also being considered by the council as a potential location for a museum.