Committee for Ballarat seeks more discussion on rejuvenation of Civic Hall site

THE head of the Committee for Ballarat has reiterated calls for the activation of the Civic Hall site.

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File image

The committee’s chief executive, John Kilgour, told The Courier on Monday, the group continued to advocate for the site to be used to rejuvenate the town’s CBD.

He said the group would support private enterprises coming onto the site or for the site adjacent to the hall to be used as a new VicRoads headquarters as deemed by a state government in a pre-election commitment announced in Ballarat in May.

Mr Kilgour’s calls come in the wake of last week’s announcement that there might be further community consultation on the fate of the Civic Hall.

Following months of deliberations between the Ballarat City Council chief executive, Anthony Schinck, and the Save Civic Hall group, it was decided more community consultation was needed to seek a resolution. 

It is proposed there will be a series of open-door studio workshops to determine the views of the community, with the results used alongside previous consultations and surveys to devise different uses of the hall. 

Mr Kilgour said while it was not up to the group to decide whether more public consultation would be effective, the committee wanted to see steps being taken to ensure the site would be utlised. He said a vision for an extension library, new iconic building for professional services, more CBD car parks and the creation of a green space for recreational use by the community had the support of the committee. 

“It’s now been almost 13 years since the hall has been closed and under-utilised,” he said. “We want to see the site activated and used as soon as possible.” 

Mr Schinck said he would continue to work with the Save the Civic Hall group to get its feedback on the proposal before the application would be put before a council meeting in July. 

He said if the proposal for further consultation was approved by councillors,  the council would investigate appointing an architectural service which would assist in drawing plans of the views raised in the workshops.

melissa.cunningham@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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