Letter to the editor: Locals talk 'for' and 'against' the Kempsey Cinema

KEMPSEY CINEMA: Artist's design of post-cinema complex.
KEMPSEY CINEMA: Artist's design of post-cinema complex.

Cinema will be good for town as social hub

Hearing from Temagog and from a former mayor - Argus, 24/11 - perhaps it might have been more prudent for an OAM recipient to be a little less vague and more positive.

The seeds now sown with extracts taken out of context delivers a very inaccurate negative impression of the true business acumen associated with the cinema venture.

Consider a few questions; Gowings are putting $2m at risk and the Federal Government is putting $2m at risk. If the business of the project is not viable why would these 'outsiders' be risking a $4m investment in Kempsey?

The cinema complex is a viable venture at Gowing's own $2m investment provided they can raise the remaining $4m. This appears to be the true picture to make the overall $6m project viable to its business owners.

Other more positive thoughts:

Will the cinema complex also provide Kempsey with an attractive and appealing venue to come for say art displays, young people's theatre, tourism inquiries, seminars and conferences, and university-style lectures from the three universities now investing heavily in the area.

It is Kempsey's time to come of age in an effort to keep their families, their progressively acquired skills and expertise in Kempsey for the benefit of Kempsey and its surrounds.

To this end state of the art cultural and educational infrastructure is needed and a well designed cinema complex with magnificent views of the river might well be a good start.

Why should governments and councils provide this sort of money to a corporation?

In simplistic terms:

Since Australia went global every level of government has progressively embraced private enterprise as a prime economic driver.

We might not like the way Australia has gone but the choice each of you in the Macleay now have is to grab the opportunity before you or simply offer it up to another council area.

Your $2m to gain an extra $4m to build on a prime site, the beginnings of much needed infrastructure for future generations – long term it’s gotta be good!

Richard Barnett, (KHS Class of 1952), Hallidays Point

Let privates drive project

I am writing with a concern I have for Kempsey council’s continued push for a cinema complex. This white elephant will have Kempsey council invest $2m of ratepayers funds along with $2m of funds from a Federal Government grant, along with the owners Gowings investing a further $2m. 

I feel sure that Kempsey council does not have the entrepreneurial skills to really be suitable for considering a $4m investment in a commercial project. Perhaps the only entrepreneur is the owner Gowings. They will reap the benefit of a $4m investment into their shopping centre asset along with reaping the profits from a low risk (to them) cinema complex. Gowings could possibly sell shortly after opening with a realisation the cinema is not profitable (but with our investment) reap a huge reward.

Kempsey councillors who think it will bring huge rewards to community should invest in the project themselves. An audit on the profitability of movie complexes elsewhere should also be on the agenda.

Glen Ravenscroft, Temagog