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 http://www.ballarat.vic.gov.au.

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.

About Merle Hathaway

I am currently Secretary of Save Civic Hall and the co-ordinator of Communications and Media. When not volunteering for SCH, I am a freelance arts administrator, curator and jack of all trades to do with promoting and supporting the arts.