Toowoomba Regional Council’s (TRC) Finance and Business Strategy Committee today (June 9) recommended that Council endorse extended, after-hours operating times for the Toowoomba City Library Community Meeting Rooms.

The recommendation also leaves the hiring fees unchanged for community and not-for-profit users and seeks to remove the subsidised commercial rate to streamline the charges regime.

TRC Library and Cultural Services portfolio leader Cr Tim McMahon said the recommendation was guided by public feedback that was provided on the proposed hours.

“Council had a strong response to our call for public input to gauge community groups’ views on preferred opening hours for the Community Meeting Rooms,” Cr McMahon said.

Cr McMahon said the Committee had recommended the following opening hours, based on the most popular times nominated by survey respondents:

  • Monday: 9am-5pm
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 9am-9pm
  • Friday: 9am-4pm
  • Saturday, Sunday: 10am-3pm

In addition, Cr McMahon said a minimum, two-hour booking would be needed to reserve a room outside the above advertised hours. The recommendation also included a provision for bookings to be made two days in advance to allow Council to allocate adequate resources to cover appointments.

TRC Deputy Mayor and Finance and Business Strategy Committee chair Cr Geoff McDonald said the revised operating hours offered greater access for community groups to conduct their meetings, while ensuring Council managed its costs.

“Council’s survey attracted 145 full responses which revealed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were by far the most popular days for bookings, with Sunday the least popular day for meetings,” Cr McDonald said.

“Respondents nominated 6-7pm as the peak meeting time, ahead of an equal number of responses for 10-11am and 7-8pm. Other popular times included 11am-noon followed by 5-6pm and 8-9pm. An even spread of responses nominated other hour-long slots during business hours.

“Two-hour meetings were by far the most popular duration nominated in the survey. This time was three times more popular than one-hour and three-hour meetings, which registered an equal number of responses.

“Most groups are using the rooms for monthly meetings, with weekly and fortnightly meetings not far behind with a similar number of responses.

“The Committee recommendation also proposes to accept future bookings, irrespective of the time, provided that an existing booking is being resourced at the venue at the same time.

“All existing bookings at the Community Meeting Rooms will be honoured.”

Cr McDonald said the Committee recommendation also sought to monitor the venue’s operating hours in the coming year to ensure it meets user groups’ needs.

“Council acknowledges the groups that completed the survey and thanks all user groups for contributing their feedback,” Cr McDonald said.

Booking enquiries can be emailed to Civic.Precinct@tr.qld.gov.au , visiting www.tr.qld.gov.au/communityvenues or by calling 131 872.

The committee recommendation will be considered for adoption at next Tuesday’s (June 15) Ordinary Meeting of Council.