Arts precinct cops a bitter blow

TMAP team Glen Pittock, Ashley Tardy, Anne Hardy, John Tardy
TMAP team Glen Pittock, Ashley Tardy, Anne Hardy, John Tardy

WHEN John Tardy’s wife Kate passed away in February 2022, the family wanted to create a legacy in her memory.

“She was an extraordinarily talented woman; any artistic endeavour she excelled at,” said John.

“When we had a memorial for her at Zamia Theatre a woman came up to me and told me how much Kate had helped her daughter – these things happen all the time.”

John knew Scenic Rim Regional Council had purchased 122 Long Road, Tamborine Mountain in 2022 and he had the idea to establish a vibrant community arts hub in the heart of Gallery Walk.

Thus the Tamborine Mountain Arts Precinct (TMAP) project was born.

John, along with his daughters Ashley and Brooke, Glen Pittock and Anne Hardy became the founding members of TMAP, an organisation which received registered charity status on May 22 this year.

They have garnered and assessed community support through their website and a petition which has over 1,100 signatures.

“Fancy having a gallery on Gallery Walk,” John said.

“We put a proposal together to ask Council to postpone the sale for six months to give us the opportunity to raise funds to purchase the property.”

In November 2023, after TMAP presented their business case to Council, Councillors voted unanimously to postpone the auction of the Gallery Walk property from December 8, 2023 to a date to be confirmed in May 2024. 

Over the past few months, TMAP has been in talks with the State government to achieve a mutually beneficial arrangement between Council, State Government, TMAP and the Tamborine Mountain community to utilise the property for the arts precinct.

John recently requested that Council delayed the auction until November this year. 

He asked to present TMAP’s case again as many Councillors are new, but  was told Councillors were brought up to date at a meeting on May 14.

At the Council meeting on May 22, 2024, Council voted in favour of re-offering the property for sale by way of public auction either at completion of the building rectification works to repair storm damage; or not later than 30 November 2024.

Only Cr Amanda Hay voted against the motion, stating the inclusion of words “Completion of the building rectification works” might not give an interested party time to raise funds to compete in an open auction.

John says the group was blindsided by the decision. 

 He has since asked to speak to the Mayor, CEO David Keenan and Councillors, but was told no one would speak to him because TMAP is a potential bidder at the auction and Council could not be seen to be talking to a bidder prior to auction.

“We are a charity organisation and will not be able to bid on the property against commercial bidders,” he said.

TMAP believe Council has a responsibility to support the arts project.

Scenic Rim Regional Council was approached for a statement but had not responded at the time of print.

About Keer Moriarty 22 Articles
Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady with Canungra Times.