WHAT PURPOSE?: Save Civic Hall sees the building as a well-designed, structurally sound building that still has its original multi-functionality intact.Keep original functionIN ANSWER to incorrect statements, Save Civic Hall has never recommended “adaptive reuse” for the Civic Hall. This term usually means that a building is re-purposed, altered and adapted for a different function to the one it was built to serve.
A great example of adaptive re-use is the Newport Substation. Community volunteers turned this derelict building, without function in today’s world, into a popular gallery and performance space. Our Railway Station’s goods shed is another beautiful building awaiting creative adaptive re-use.
A fabulous example of continuing same use, with only slight change is the Old Colonists Club. By allowing women members and opening up the bar area, this lovely building is still there for all to visit and use, more or less as intended.
A bad example of adaptive reuse is the loss of our grand Post Office that once marked the centre of Ballarat. Now adaptively – I suggest unsuitably – used as a small gallery for Federation University, it was replaced by an ugly shop in an underground plaza. Its windows allow more uncontrolled light than is recommended for galleries and there is only one usable wall for hanging artworks. I love this gallery, by the way, for its exhibitions and friendly staff.
Save Civic Hall does not want the Civic Hall turned into a supermarket or library, or chopped up into offices or meeting rooms. It sees Civic Hall as a well-designed, structurally sound building that still has its original multi-functionality intact.
With a minimum of repairs and refits it would again be the largest Ballarat venue, seating around 2000 in the main hall, for large events, festivals, bands, deb balls, conventions etc. Its Lower Hall, seating around 400 is ideal for smaller functions.
To retain and enhance its functionality into the future, Civic Hall must retain its flat floors, stages, foyer and balcony. Of course, it needs upgraded access, equipment hoist, sound and lighting infrastructure, and eventually a fly tower refit. This should be easily managed within the funds currently budgeted as, contrary to rumour, it has no structural or other major problems.
– Merle Hathaway, Buninyong
Austria trip a junketI READ with interest the city of Ballarat is set to send two councillors and a senior council officer to Austria to the World League Historical Cities conference.
I would like to know what ties do we have to Austria? To me, this is nothing more than a junket. Mayor Des Hudson reckons the 2.5 per centcap the state government has put on councils will affect services, but I notice this council he leads can soon find money in the kitty to spend on an overseas trip to Austria. No wonder ratepayers shake their head in disbelief. All I can say, l’m looking forward to the next council election.
– Geoff Rundell, Ballarat
Where has RFC money gone?THE Andrews Government must come clean and explain to regional Victorians where hundreds of millions of dollars from the sale of Rural Finance Corporation has gone.
Rural Finance was sold for around $460 million in 2014, with $220 million set aside by the former Liberal-Nationals Government for the Murray Basin Rail upgrade. The remaining $240 million was earmarked for investment in rural and regional Victoria.
Since the Andrews Government has come to office, that remaining money appears to have vanished. In May last year, Jaala Pulford said the remaining funds would be “directed towards regional and rural projects”. Yet two years after Rural Finance was sold, Ms Pulford and the Labor Government still refuse to say what these mystery “regional projects” are.
There are fears Labor is being coy because the money has actually been spent on projects in Melbourne. It is time for the Andrews Government to come clean and explain where the $240 million has gone.
– Peter Walsh, Leader of The Nationals
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