Monthly Archives: February 2014

Get your objection to demolition in NOW!

Deadline for submissions to Council 5pm, Friday 14 March 2014

Now the City of Ballarat has lodged its application for demolition of the Civic Hall the community only has until 14 March to make its objections.

Tell Council what the Civic Hall means to YOU and YOUR COMMUNITY.

SCH Demolition Application Flyer

Council’s application is to demolish our 1956 modernist /late Deco Civic Hall, the carpark, skateboard park and all the trees.

This is Ballarat’s largest hall, seating 1500 in the main hall, 400 in the Lower Hall. It was ideal for large scale events such as rock concerts, trade shows, home shows, festivals, balls etc. It would be GREAT for Ballarat International Foto Biennale, great for the Rockabilly festival, Diwali Festival of Light etc, and we know the building is structurally sound.

Council has no plans for what is to replace it (despite that is one of their own requirements). It is not planning to build a park, or another large hall to replace it. Their application does not mention the social significance of the Civic Hall. Its only “vision” for community use has been a suggestion for an outdoor, standing-only space for 3,000 people (in Ballarat!!!). This is the so called “Fed Square” solution. 

The focus of both the application and the developers who’ve supported it is on commercial development – more shops & offices.

Environmentally it’s a disaster, with the loss of embodied energy and loss of a significant pocket park and its 60 native plants, birds and butterflies, many protected species. And we know that the greenest building is the one that already exists.

You can read the application on Council’s website 

Submissions can be one sentence or longer, or on Council forms, or submitted online.

 Need help writing your submission? Come along to one of our workshops at Ballarat Library Meeting Room –
Sunday 23 Feb, 2 – 6pm  or  Friday 7 March, 12 – 8pm.

World Radio Day, Thursday 13 February, Voice FM

Voice FM will celebrate World Radio Day by focusing a large part of the day’s programs on the history and value of the Civic Hall, the community’s efforts to save it from demolition, proposed by the City of Ballarat Council, and their push for commercial development of the site.

Enjoy a variety of program segments including talk back, live debate, musical performances and pre-recorded and live interviews with various experts to feature filling a full day’s program.

Special guests will include Robin Grow, President of the Art Deco Society, Chairperson of Save Civic Hall, Dr Penny Greenslade who is leading the environmental impact study, Rod Broadbent who performed at the Civic Hall and who has recently coordinated a group of tradesmen willing to assess and repair the Lower Hall.

Dr Ron van Oers, Vice Director, World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for Asia and the Pacific (WHITRAP) will also contribute to the programme. Based in Shanghai Dr van Oers spoke at a forum late last year about the Heritage Urban Landscape programme, which Ballarat Council has signed up to. His special interest is the contribution older buildings with social and heritage significance make to the life and health of cities.

Tune in to Voice FM 99.9, especially from 9 – 12 noon, and from 3 – 4pm.

Stop Press: Council has declined to participate!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Friday 14 February 6 – 7 pm


Adapted for kids from the classic play by William Shakespeare.

You are invited to a St Valentine’s Day special performance by the Save Civic Hall players of an abridged and wonderfully zany version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As you might expect, the Civic Hall and Lake Wendouree may find their way into the plot!

At Trades Hall Theatre, 24 Camp Street, Ballarat. 

Entrance is by gold coin. All funds raised go to saving the Civic Hall from demolition.

More information ring Alison 0409 537 972 or Jacqui 0410 641 357.


Save Civic Hall Garden Party

Saturday 22 February, 6 – 9pm, at Buninyong BreweryIMG_0819

Enjoy the 1850s bluestone Buninyong Brewery and its extensive gardens, music, poetry  and yummy cold platters while helping save the Civic Hall.

Entertainment includes Ballarat Ukulele Kollective, Measure 4 Measure, much published poet Nathan Curnow, and the whimsical David Farnsworth, and you are welcome to bring along your own musical instrument or voice for some impromptu entertaining!

$20 includes meal and entertainment and all funds raised go to preventing the Civic Hall from being demolished. Soft drink available for purchase.

Address: The Brewery overlooks the small lake (The Gong) in Buninyong, at 107 Yuille Street. Easiest way to find it is, from the roundabout / pub / shops go up hill towards Geelong. Take second on right (Cornish Street) and then second left (Yuille) alongside the lake. Buninyong Gardens are nearby.


Save Civic Hall preparing to take Council to VCAT

Council let it run down.  Council closed it. Now Council wants to demolish it!

Council has at last submitted its application (to itself!) to demolish our Civic Hall. View the documents on Council’s website

We have six weeks to prepare submissions to Council opposing demolition. Then Council will vote on whether to demolish or not. So, if  you care, read their application and have your say. Tell them that the Civic Hall was built for the community and should remain a community space. That community assets should not be sold off to developers.

Does Council have an alternative “vision” for the site? If so, it’s not telling anyone. Their emphasis is on making a bomb site available for developers. So don’t hold your breath for a central parkland, or any other form of community space.

Unbelievably, Council is applying for demolition with no plans for what’s to replace it. This breaks their own planning processes! We believe VCAT has never supported demolition of a building without knowing what is to replace it in similar disputes – especially where there is also a heritage overlay, as here.

It’s hard to believe that any Council would demolish a perfectly sound building that could be  being used for and by the community. Especially when all their own polls of the community show a majority vote for retention of the Civic Hall.

The Save Civic Hall group has been busy over the past few months, preparing legal, environmental, heritage, and social significance cases for opposing Council through VCAT and other channels.

With this is mind, we have been fundraising – a very successful and enjoyable Art Auction was held recently, and a Garden Party will be held at Buninyong Brewery Saturday 22 February, 6 – 9pm with live music and food. You are invited!

SCH has also run events to activate the Civic Hall, such as the popular Rock the Civic, held on the front steps. An updated Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed at the Trades Hall Theatre on Valentines Day, 14 February.

This website, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterist are there for you to have your say, add your pictures, memories and ideas for the Civic Hall.
 Check out Save Ballarat Civic Hall on Facebook for more information.