Cafe Closure "North Coast Botanical Garden"
The Friends of the Garden Committee advised its volunteers, that this year there would be a delay till near the end of January, because of some works that needed to be done. I.e. Painting, levelling of pavers and other small jobs.
It has come to light that The Friends of the Garden Committee was advised that the café required a DA from council to make modifications to the building which at this time has not been presented to council. As a result, the café will be closed indefinitely.
The café could and should have been opened at this very busy time, whilst awaiting DA approval.
The café is a public space for visitors and the local community. As a part of the culture several groups and individuals use this space on a very regular basis. Disability groups and carers bring their charges here for the ambiance and a peaceful space in which to contemplate. Among others from very diverse backgrounds.
The café offered a range of affordable meals at a very competitive rate, which was also enjoyed by the public and some disadvantaged sectors of the community including aged and disabled clients.
No notice or reason has been provided to visitors or our local community for the closure.
The Friends of the Garden Committee. Has decided that the café will not reopen until modifications are completed, and subject to DA approval may take two months or more. Further the café offerings will be changed to reflect the committees drive to increase their margins.
Its volunteers at the café have resigned in protest at the committee’s lack of judgement and lack of inclusion to its volunteer base.
This now presents a new issue, in that even if they reopen the café. They will not have the staff to man it.
To exacerbate this situation further the reputation of the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden as a great place to visit will be tarnished on a National level. The number two status that North Coast Regional Botanic Garden will not survive this.
My personal view is that the “The Friends of the Garden Committee” has lost touch with its core principles, and the resultant issues will adversely affect the reputation of the Coffs Coast community and North Coast Regional Botanic Garden.
Ultimately, it’s a community resource and should be treated as such.