A PROPOSAL to knock down the Civic Hall will go ahead.
Ballarat City councillor Belinda Coates’ rescind motion was defeated last night.
The council voted 6-3 against the initiative after more than seven hours of public submissions that ended just before 2am.
Cr Coates said she put up the motion because of a strong perception in the community that the process was tainted.
"There's a lack of evidence and balance to the resolution that was passed," she said.
But other councillors speaking against the motion said they had not heard any new information to sway their minds.
People were still delivering passionate arguments as the clock struck 1am.
Most expressed passionate support for adaptive reuse.
The council voted on September 25 in favour of demolishing the Civic Hall, following a six-and-a-half-hour meeting.
Introducing her motion last night, Cr Coates said she and some of the other councillors were not 100 per cent confident in the process.
“As stated tonight, many of the community members weren’t either,” she said. “Every single aspect of this process will be scrutinised and every single one of us has to be sure it is following a due process.”
In public question time Ballarat resident Tim Stoneman referred to a 2010 heritage appraisal of the hall that described it as a ‘historical’ and ‘local’ asset, but not ‘architectural’.
“Isn’t it your responsibility, your obligation to protect and preserve plans of local and social significance?” he asked councillors.
Mr Stoneman also asked if councillors came to the meeting with their minds already decided.
Mayor John Burt said the council was working through the process “in a very democratic way”.
When question time reached one hour and five minutes, Cr Burt suggested they defer questions about the civic hall to hear other items of business.
“No, overturned,” someone shouted.
There was still a long queue of people waiting to be heard.
Peter Fletcher, who volunteers for youth events, said the council was making the wrong decision and that he was going to “rant” about it.
He said Ballarat’s youth were crying out for a live music space and urged councillors to support the rescission motion.
Dumping a pile of Panadol packets over the council’s table, he told the council they could stop the headaches.
As the night went on, there was heckling and applause from the gallery.
Speaking in favour of demolition, Committee for Ballarat chief executive officer John Kilgour urged the council to act on its vision.
“This is a unique opportunity to develop the Civic Hall site in a way that portrays Ballarat as a vibrant ... progressive regional city,” he said.
But one member of the gallery responded: “Yes, keep it.”
CWA member Carmel Righetti compared Crs Coates, McIntosh and Coltman to the women who sewed the Eureka flag.
"The peoples' dreams are more important than the developers' dreams," she said.
Speaker 45 Matt Hustwaite said: "Good morning Mr Mayor and councillors" when he addressed the council at 1.25am.
He said the hall became derelict for a reason "because it became a dysfunctional space".
His comments caused the sleepy crowd to stir as many in the gallery disagreed.