The Burdekin Shire Council will take over the management of the Burdekin Theatre and Burdekin Memorial Hall in Home Hill from April 1.
BCCB Chairman and Burdekin Shire Mayor Bill Lowis said the Burdekin Cultural Complex Board had supported a recommendation that the board as a management entity be wound up by March 31.
“The decision made on Monday night was the result of three years’ intense discussion over how the Board could get the best value from the theatre and hall for the Burdekin Community,” he said.
“Over the past five years, the theatre was costing the BCCB more than $1 million annually _ equivalent to this year’s rate rise.
“By bringing these two facilities under Council we can reduce the cost burden on our ratepayers by eliminating unnecessary and costly duplication of systems currently used by the BCCB and Council.”
Cr Lowis said it would be business as usual for the theatre and hall until March 31.
“Make no mistake, the show will go on for these facilities, but we want our community to make better use of them, to have them available for hire and to be more cost effective,” he said.
“Our local productions, like The Boy from Oz, Burdekin Fashion Bash, the eisteddfod and the end of year dance productions are by far the most popular with our community.
“In the seven months from December 2013 through to July 2014 – there were 22 shows held and only nine of those made more than 100 ticket sales.
“Unfortunately this lack of support means it costs our ratepayers money – it costs to keep the lights and air-conditioning going and when shows aren’t supported we don’t get funds to cover those costs.”
Cr Lowis said BCCB employees also would come under Council’s management.
“I would like to thank Cultural Complex Manager Malcolm Calder for all his efforts in trying to get people back in seats in the past 12-18 months,” he said.
“Malcolm made some positive changes during his time in the Burdekin, but he has not been supported by the community.
“His Australia Day program this year was superb and an absolute credit to management and staff.
“His efforts to get the large Australia flag from Canberra for both Australia Day and The Boy from Oz showed his willingness to think outside the square.”
Cr Lowis said he had released Mr Calder from his contract with entitlements payout.
“Malcolm has decided he does not want to seek employment with Council and has opted to move on and I wish him all the very best for his future,” he said.
“With future development of a fully integrated community hub, including the Shire’s library facilities, employees will be able to fit into the Council structure under the new Local Government Award.”