Letter to the editor

The Editor Augusta Margaret River Times 101 Bussell Highway Margaret River, WA 6285 editor@amrtimes.com.au Dear Editor Your article by Warren Hately in last week’s Times about changes at Arts Margaret River might have left some a little confused. The present Board of Management at Arts Margaret River was elected a year ago with a mandate for change, and the changes we have been making have its unanimous support. The Augusta Margaret River Shire does not ‘subsidise’ Arts Margaret River. We have a legal contract with the Shire to manage the Cultural and Events Centre, for which we receive a management fee. We pay all the Centre’s running costs. Arts Margaret River has a large and growing program. Our ‘turnover’ is now more than $500,000 per year and continuing to grow. This demands competent professional management, assisted by our many volunteers. Our small management team is not ‘top-heavy’, as some have suggested. It is equivalent to barely three people (if they were all full-time, which they are not). Assisted by our volunteers and event coordinators, they work very hard to manage our new cinema, our foyer gallery, our annual Readers and Writers Festival (from 16 May this year), our many live stage events, including the Cowaramup Sundowners, and over 200 community events in 2013. They also manage the Shire’s Cultural and Events Centre. This is a big task, and we are delighted to have an excellent team to do it. To ensure we do it professionally and responsibly, we have chosen the best people we could get. We could do nothing less. Yours sincerely Fred Affleck President, Arts Margaret River Inc. 1 March 2014