Civic Hall fight goes worldwide as council receives submissions

The proposed demolition of Ballarat’s Civic Hall has gone global.

DESIGNS: Civic Hall visions over time.

A City of Ballarat planning application to demolish the hall has attracted 1900 submissions from around the world, with the vast majority calling for the building to be retained.

The loss of heritage, wasting ratepayers’ money and the demolition of the on-site skate park are referred to frequently in the documents, which have been lodged with the council’s planning department.

The Courier has started to go through each of the submissions and we found a number calling for the hall to be converted for use as a music venue or tourist information centre.

Prominent identities and organisations are featured including the Twentieth Century Heritage Society of NSW and Art Deco Trust branches in Napier New Zealand, Toronto Canada, Brazil and Sacramento 

California.

Other submissions have been received from Ballan, Maryborough, Wangaratta, Geelong, Yaraville, Creswick, Kyneton and Paris.

Author Peter Temple also objected to the “destruction of a sound structure that could be put to community

use”.

The Courier also found several submissions from children in Ballarat who don’t want to lose their skate park.

Of about 500 submissions viewed this week, we found only one that supported demolition on the basis that a larger building which served the wider community was 

needed.

A number of local lawyers and engineers also raised objections stating the existing building was structurally sound and demolition failed to meet local planning policies.

The documents will be provided to the council’s planners and will be the basis of a report produced by late May or early June, which will then be considered by the council.

Residents were given six weeks to present their submissions. 

While the deadline ran out on March 14, submissions are still being accepted on an ongoing basis until the officer’s report arrives in late May or early

June.

rachel.afflick@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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