Ballarat residents opposed to the wasteful demolition of Civic Hall have united to call a public meeting and begin a campaign to save and reuse Civic Hall.
The public meeting will be held this Sunday 20 October 2pm – 4pm at the Ballarat Library Meeting Room.
“Council’s proposal to demolish Civic Hall is a monumental waste of ratepayers money and threatens not just a viable and significant community building, but our valuable public space,” said Ron Egeberg, a member of the newly united group.
“It was Council’s neglect, mismanagement and overpricing that led to a reduction in use of our Civic Hall and we won’t stand by while further poor decisions waste more money.”
“Civic Hall is a socially and culturally significant building, built to last for decades to come. It can and should be retained and reused, bringing the precinct to life and saving millions of ratepayers dollars.”
“Council has professional polling that shows the majority of Ballarat residents oppose demolition and 72 percent support retaining and reusing our Civic Hall for community benefit. They also have a preliminary business case for adaptive reuse that shows we can earn a good return on ratepayer investment in restoring and upgrading what is a sound and useable building.”
“In contrast, Council has presented no business case, feasibility study or supporting evidence to support demolition and there is no sign of broad support for this waste of money, energy and community assets.”
“The fact that the state government has already declared the land to be in excess of their requirements should be pause for thought alone. This is likely to mean the site will be sold to the highest bidder rather than retained for community use and ratepayers will see no return on the sale of state government land.”
The Ballarat Residents and Ratepayers Association will auspice the new community group, allowing them to raise funds if required.
“The Ballarat Residents and Ratepayers Association see what a waste of ratepayers money Council’s misguided demolition proposal would be and we’re grateful for their support.”
“Horsham Rural City Council has estimated they’ve spent $1.5-2 million in their failed attempt to demolish Horsham Town Hall, a building of a similar era and local significance to our Civic Hall. Ballarat Council has wasted enough time and money, it’s time they worked with the community and started reinvigorating Civic Hall and avoid wasting everyones time and money on a long and drawn-out battle.”
“We’re confident Civic Hall will be retained, it’s up to Council how much time, energy and money is wasted in the meantime,” concluded Ron Egeberg.
A petition at savecivichall.com has already garnered close to 1000 supporters.
The public meeting is open to all residents who support retaining and activating Civic Hall and the surrounding site and will run from 2pm-4pm at the Ballarat Library Meeting Room this Sunday 20 October.