Bondi Pavilion saved from privatisation

The iconic Bondi Pavilion on the foreshore of Bondi Beach has been saved from privatisation, and discussions have commenced about plans for its future as a cultural centre and creative hub.

The big swing against the Liberal Party in recent council elections resulted in former Liberal mayor of Waverley Council Sally Betts, who was pushing hard for the commercialisation of the pavilion, being replaced as mayor.

The new mayor is Labor's John Wakefield, with deputy mayor, the Greens' Dominic Wy Kanak. Labor and the Greens hold a majority on the council and have declared that the Bondi Pavilion will be saved for continued community and cultural use.

Wy Kanak said he was committed to "creating an open and transparent council with less secrecy, and having councillors more accessible to constituents". Wakefield has spoken against over-development of the Waverley area, declaring: "We will be very firm in sticking to our development control plan".

A Bondi Beach precinct meeting was held in early October to discuss proposals for community involvement in future plans for the Bondi Pavilion. The meeting was held in the theatre, which had been a key target of Betts' plans for a $38 million redevelopment. The community space on the top floor of the building had been destined for sale as a private restaurant.

Wakefield and Wy Kanak announced to the meeting that the new council would be creating a Stakeholder Advisory Committee, made up of seven residents and members of the local arts community. The committee's role would be to gather information from the public and determine a "hierarchy of required and desired uses" for the building as a cultural centre and creative hub.

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