Monthly Archives: May 2017

State Government plan for the Civic Hall Site

The South West Corner of The Civic Hall

$47.8 Million GvtHub office:

On Friday May 5 the State Govenment revealed to the Courier Newspaper their plan for the Civic Hall site.   According to the Media Release of May 4…

“The GovHub funded in the Victoria Budget 2017/2018, will be home up to 1000 government employees, including 600 new positions to the city, and will help revitalise a major part of the Ballarat CBD.  This brand new office will include employees across:

  • Dept of Education and Training,
  • Dept of Justice and Regulation
  • Dept of Economic Development, jobs, Transport & resources (DEDJTR)
  • Dept of Economics, Dept of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)
  • State Revenue Office
  • Vic Roads,
  • Service Victoria.

The site will be developed in partnership with the Ballarat Council.”

The Courier dated May 5, revealed the State Government’s  artist’s impression of the new office building that is proposed for the site.

It raises more questions than answers!

Firstly this is an artist’s impression what are the specifications?

The drawing indicates that it  is a massive building …will it really fit on the site or is it a Pie In the Sky?

If it was to go on the site it will certainly dwarf the Civic Hall and it will surely not be sympathetic to the heritage of the Civic Hall and surrounding buildings in the Heritage Overlay 171 Lydiard St.

Lower Civic Hall To Be Demolished:

The State Government wishes to demolish the Lower Civic Hall to make way for their enormous office building.  This will severely impact on the viability of the remaining Main Hall as the features which make it functional will be destroyed such as, dressing rooms and Assembly area for performing groups and bands.  Save Civic Hall will advocate for the Lower Civic Hall to be incorporated into any development on the eastern side of the Civic Hall site.

The Civic Hall is one structure not two,  and it was cleverly designed by Architect and Mayor Les Coburn for both halls to be integrated as one and make use of the undulating land to maximize the use of the current site.  It is not appropriate to remove any part of the building as advised by Council’s own Heritage adviser Brian Benson.  To do so would compromise the integrity of the building.

Library Expansion:

If Council continue with the current Master plan, the Main Hall will be given over to the Library Expansion and the opportunity to host large events will be lost forever.   The Library can still expand but not into the Main Hall.

1000 Jobs:

Save Civic Hall supports jobs coming to Ballarat and we also do not object to appropriate development on the Civic Hall site.   The jobs that will come to Ballarat may not be long term as 500 are construction jobs which will eventually end as the project ends.  The government jobs are existing jobs and relocation for employees from Melbourne .  There is no evidence of any long term local  job creation.

350 Carparks

We can not deny that we need more parking in the CBD.   The Council have just re-made the car park on the eastern side of the Civic Hall.   According to the State Government’s artist impression of the proposed development an office will be build on it.  So the Council have wasted how much?

If the State Government were not allocating  the land at the Railway Station to Developers there could be more parking available on that site.  The car parks that are planned will be for the serviced apartments and not for commuters.

Civic Hall Plaza:

The Civic Hall Plaza development is well under way with the area fenced off and will be for some time.  We are disappointed that there are only three  of the original trees left on the south west corner, far more trees were removed than what we initially understood would be the case.  Also disappointing is the removal of the two Silver Birch trees that stood tall and proud outside of the entrance.  The works are expected to be completed by the end of the year.


The Civic Hall Plaza S.H.E.A Plan

The Courier Front Page  May 5, 2017