The lights on the hill remain on, after Kempsey Shire Council has agreed to permanently take over ownership and management of the Slim Dusty Centre.
At Tuesday's ordinary meeting, Council authorised the General Manager to enter into an agreement with the Slim Dusty Foundation.
This agreement will transfer the Slim Dusty Centre buildings and its contents, excluding the Slim Dusty Museum exhibits and memorabilia, to Council for nil cost. It will also empower Council to operate and manage the Centre, including the Museum.
The Council has temporarily run the centre over the past 12 months, whilst undertaking a financial review of the facility.
Mayor Liz Campbell praised the decision, "In the Slim Dusty Centre, Council has been presented with a genuinely unique opportunity to acquire an important cultural and tourism facility for our community which also has a direct link to one of the valley's favourite sons".
"This acquisition enables Council to run art exhibitions, music and school events and bring in touring exhibitions as well as opportunities to hire out the spaces for conferences and corporate events as well. I want to thank the Kirkpatrick family and the Slim Dusty Foundation for their help in making this all possible." Cnr Campbell said.
The Slim Dusty Museum will remain a key tourism drawcard for the shire with current visitation estimated at 1000 people a month.
David Kirkpatrick, Chair of the Slim Dusty Foundation, and son of Slim Dusty, complimented Council on the operation of the centre since December last year.
"Many months of discussion and research has gone into an extremely sound proposal ahead of this important decision," Dr Kirkpatrick said.
"We are so pleased that the heritage of Slim Dusty is secure in the Kempsey Shire. I can reiterate the commitment of our family and the Foundation Board to the ongoing success of the centre through our role in the museum.
"After all the closures and challenges of recent years we are enthused to relaunch the Slim Dusty Festival in 2022, the artists are keen and we'll bring renewed exhibits and a fresh approach to the museum to help make this Festival a success."
The Slim Dusty Centre, including the Kempsey Visitor Information Centre, is currently closed due to the public health orders but will reopen under Council management in the near future.
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