A commercial Bingo company has replaced the circus arts group Aerialize as the main organization using the Great Hall at Marrickville’s Addison Road Centre (ARC).

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Accusations of mismanagement at Australia’s largest community centre continue as revenue raising exercises rub tenants the wrong way.

The Addison Road Centre’s (ARC) board has developed a new rental regime based upon floor-space that will increase existing tenant costs, with the rent of Addison Road Gallery expected to triple. The Centre is on a former military site that requires significant upkeep.

General Manager of the Centre, Rosanna Barbero said the director of the Gallery, Terry Cutcliffe is behind in rent, and the Centre attempted to take possession of the Gallery last week by changing the locks. Ms Barbero said:

“We did exactly what our lawyers instructed, and exactly what our members wanted.”

Mr Cutcliffe drilled the locks and is now staging an occupation of his own gallery in protest of what he sees as Centre mismanagement. He said he is up-to-date with his rent and has created a petition calling for government intervention. Mr Cutcliffe said:

“It’s just totally insane here. They’ve made no attempt to get a court order because they know they won’t get one.”

Tenants are also concerned that a bingo company is replacing the circus arts group, Aerialize as the main organisation using the Great Hall at the Centre. The ARC board recently evicted the troupe, claiming that Aerialize was occupying space that was required for community-based groups.

Aerialize General Manager, Patrick Corrigan was critical of the replacement.

“It’s gone from tragic comedy to absolute total farce,” he said. “The whole concept of replacing a perfectly viable community organisation with a gambling organisation in a community center … I just find unbelievable.

“There’s something pretty vile going on at the Centre. The whole place needs to be shaken out and an administrator appointed by the Minister.”

Ms Barbero said the Centre was contacted by Learning Links, an organisation that works with families and children with disabilities. She said the funding from bingo would help finance these services.

“In a climate where funding is being cut for disabilities, they are providing essential services for mothers, fathers who have kids that are mentally and physically challenged.”

Ms Barbero said Aerialize were using the great hall for 6 days a week and paying $30,000, limiting the opportunities of other organisations to use the space. She said Learning Links are paying four times that amount and only using it for 20 hours a week, freeing the hall for use by other organisations the rest of the time.

“This extra money that we’re getting from them, we can use to fix things that have been neglected in the past 20 years,” Ms Barbero said.

Mr Corrigan said Aerialize had negotiated a deal that would have allowed ample public access to the building.

Justo Diaz, who was elected to the ARC board in January, said they are just trying to address problems created by previous boards.

“If there was any bullying, any mismanagement, any corruption, any nepotism, they are responsible,” Mr Diaz said. “Yes there’s been a toxic environment, but it’s not this board that’s been creating this toxic environment, it’s some people that are selfishly defending their own interest.”

 

  • http://www.reversegarbage.org.au Narelle Mantle

    Aerialize own admission about the reasons why they moved out from the Great Hall which totally corroborates our version
    “Aerialize – the BIG move! The new space will be bigger and better with:
    • Our own space that we can finally call home and that is 100% ours, not controlled by another organisation”

  • Ruth Williams

    Narelle, i think you’ll find that that Aerialize quote was after the request to move from their previous premises.

    They are a huge group; they made the best of a bad situation and found a new space. In finding that space they found that they were free of a management situation. However they are still in dire needs of funds BECAUSE of the move. They’re not losers – they’ve moved on because they had to.

    Imagine if Reverse Garbage had to move !

    If anyone is interested is assisting the plight of Aerialize, who in having to move, found that they were actually better off space wise BUT who still need to FINANCE such a move, here is how you can donate to their cause …

    http://www.aerialize.com.au/

    Here’s to community spaces where the community itself can be included in corroborations !!!! Hear Hear !

    Ruth

  • Nick

    How great are the overheads for A.R.C.? I understand it’s $1500 a year to the state government plus upkeep and staff.

    Surely the turnover from the overwhelmingly active Sunday markets would help contribute to this and any upkeep costs. There are so many people there every weekend.

    Kicking people out and putting in bingo is not a good move. Terry is a local legend working closely with Indigenous people and providing the best display of Indigenous art in Sydney – all free.

    ARC has a fight on their hands.

  • Pingback: What is going on at Addison Road Community Centre? « Lurkerlust

  • Patrick Corrigan

    The comments by Narelle Mantle are a dishonest use of a quote made after we were evicted with 60 days notice (originally 30 days). This after 12 years at Addison Road. Reverse Garbage through its Manager attacks a wonderful community group with over 1200 local residents as members. As for the Gaming operator who is moving in – only a small portion of what is taken from the gamblers actually ends up with the Links To Learning. The operator is no doubt on a nice little earner at the expense of the communities most vulnerable. This is surely not what the Government intended when it leased the space to ARC>

  • John Bartholomew

    Thanks Patrick, for your display of some really professional dishonesty! Two days before you posted the above, both of us attended a meeting where we heard from the horse’s mouth (Learning Links) that strict government regulations mandate that 75% of all takings in charity housie (which you misleadingly pretend is “for-profit bingo”) must be returned to punters as winnings. This is the highest proportion of winnings return available. Your description of this as “a nice little earner at the expense of the community’s most vulnerable” is just plain dishonest. As you also heard, a minimum of 12.5% of all takings must be given to the nominated charity, in this case disabled kids and their education. A maximum of 12.5% is then left to spend on all the outgoings of the organisation; rent, wages, insurance, utilities, tea and bickies etc.

    The ridiculous “Say no to bingo” campaign that you embarrass yourself by being part of is not based on any concern for the welfare of those people who enjoy their weekly housie outing, and you know it.If you want to oppose predatory gambling, why not get behind the “No pokies” campaign and do some real good for the community? Neither housie, or bingo are capable of being abused by operators in the way that many other forms of gambling are, because mandatory pre-commitment is built in to the game. But I sense that your main concern with housie is the fact that you, Patrick, were on a “nice little earner” when you were running your private business from a community hall of 500m2 for a rent of only $578 per week,being massively subsidised by the other Addison Road tenants, and now that the old leases that were drawn up without transparency have expired, you have to pay the same as everybody else in your business. Its sour grapes, and a resentment of members of the community who are less hip than you think yourself to be, that characterise your newly acquired distaste for housie, and define the “say no to bingo” red herring.

    The best thing you could do for yourself and for the community is get on with running Aerialise in its new premises, and withdraw from the highly misleading “Say no to bingo” nonsense. Private businesses can do well when they support charities. It’s good for the public image. But when you support a hate campaign as openly as you have done, it can blow up in your face when it gets violent, as it now has. You and others have already been warned about the legal consequences of inciting violence; just how much do you know about the thugs who broke into the bingo hall in Addison rd and terrorised pensioners with baseball bats this week?