M.A.D.E is a 'basket case' says former Eureka Centre chief

A FORMER Eureka Centre director has slammed the city council’s handling of the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E), saying the centre cannot succeed in its present form.

Ron Egeberg was a director of the Eureka Centre between 2002 and 2008, before it was closed to be redeveloped into M.A.D.E. 

In an opinion piece published in today’s Courier, Mr Egeberg says management is not to blame for the current state of M.A.D.E as it had inherited a “basket case”.

Mr Egeberg writes that the City of Ballarat had ignored recommendations provided to it on the redevelopment of the centre.

There are clouds over the future of M.A.D.E, with a report before the council recommending a number of measures to cut costs. 

“The community has been misled. M.A.D.E has not been built in accordance with the original recommendations and plans, the operating costs of the new facility have quadrupled compared to those of the original Eureka Centre and the Eureka story has been marginalised due to an apparent lack of interest shown by the current council administration,” Mr Egeberg writes.

When speaking about his opinion piece, Mr Egeberg said the federal and state funding provided to the centre had allowed for a unique opportunity to engage the community in the story of Eureka.

“The issue I have is that no one has shown true care to what is a quintessential story of Eureka,” he said. “What we have fundamentally done is shown no care about this iconic and significant Australian story.”

Mr Egeberg said the centre needed to be the showpiece of this year’s 160th celebration of the Eureka Stockade.

tom.cowie@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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