Monthly Archives: February 2018

New look for Civic Hall

The Civic Hall Plaza gardens are approaching completion:

The landscaping of the Civic Hall Plaza is approaching completion although there is controversy over the finishing touches.  Does the red paint of the concrete edges fit with the colours used during the early post war period?  Does it respect the heritage of the era?  To help  you decide take the Civic Hall Precinct Walk compiled by member Barbara Cytowicz .

The Current Situation:

Council cancelled an event on January 27 that was to take place outside the Civic Hall to launch the Rockabilly Festival and showcase the gardens.  it was cited that the gardens were not ready for the event.  Delays are becoming  increasingly frustrating as the garden  works were due for completion in August 2017.

Restoration of the interior of the Main Hall has not yet commenced.  The future of the Lower Civic Hall remains in doubt with demolition a real possibility as the State government GOV HUB plans were revealed.  Save Civic Hall members have met with Council officers, Regional Development Victoria and the architects for the redevelopment of the Main Hall and the GOV HUB.   The outcomes are less than satisfactory with many concerns over the viability of the Civic Hall into the future if the proposed demolition and development plans are implemented.

The State Government intends to demolish the Lower Hall and erect a new building in its place.  John Wardle Architects claim that an engineers report has been carried out and the structure will withstand  the removal of the Lower Hall.  We have our doubts and have requested to see a copy of this report.  As yet nothing has been forthcoming.  We believe that it is unnecessary to demolish the whole of the Lower Hall.

A firewall is to be erected between the main hall and the new Lower Hall building.  We believe that this will completely separate the building and there will be no access to dressing rooms for the users of the Lower Hall building which will be managed by the GOV HUB.  There is no guarantee that this venue will be available to the community as it will no longer be a Council asset and community use will be up to the Government’s discretion.

The restoration of the main hall has yet to be commenced.  There are concerns over dressing rooms and a green room which  is to be built underneath the main stage with the only access to the stage being a small lift.  The proposed left is far too small to carry people and equipment and would need to be much larger.  Council officers agreed and promised to amend the plan to create a larger lift.

We are in the early part of 2018 and many have just returned from the summer break.  We are hopeful that we can secure another meeting with Council, Regional Development and the architects  to voice our concerns and try to negotiate further.


To be or not to be….VCAT is a consideration:

Save Civic Hall is exploring its options and hope that negotiations can continue to secure a good outcome for the community and the users of this amazing structure.  VCAT is an option that we are currently investigating as Council’s own Heritage Adviser  recommended that no part of the Civic Hall should be demolished as it is a significant historical building with a substantial social history that is important to the region.

What Year is this?:

We were delighted that  this poster has emerged.  There was some debate on our Facebook Page as to the year that the event took place.  Most said 1990’s.  It would be interesting to know for sure.  It could for part of a poster-art wall like the one on display at the Music Vault Exhibition…a free permanent exhibition space at the Arts Centre, Melbourne.

The Music Vault:

The Music Vault opened in December at the Arts Centre, Melbourne (next to the national Art Gallery) and is a free and permanent exhibition space.   It celebrates the history of Australian contemporary Pop and Rock music from the very early days of the 1950’s up to recent times.  There is so much to see and hear with  film footage , costumes of all your favourite performers, poster art and memorabilia.  The Amplifier is well worth a look with film footage of Countdown performances and The 1972 Sunbury Music Festival.  The exhibition portrays not only music history but celebrates the birth of the unique  Australian Identity and sound  through the development of Australia’s own recording industry that took the world by storm with performers  such as The Easybeats, INXS, Midnight Oil, The Divinyls, ACDC, The Angels,  Olivia Newton John,  Men at Work, Mental As Anything and so many more.

This exhibition also reflects the history of the  Ballarat Civic Hall as many of the performers who are portrayed in the exhibition performed in the very hall that we fought so hard to save.

 Save Civic Hall wishes you a belated Happy New Year  2018, and will continue to work towards the best outcome for our Civic Hall and the Community.