LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

SAD TIMES: One reader said the closure of Suttons House of Music on Sturt Street is a great loss to Ballarat.

SAD TIMES: One reader said the closure of Suttons House of Music on Sturt Street is a great loss to Ballarat.

Suttons closure a great loss for Ballarat

THE closure of Suttons House of Music is a great and sad loss to the City of Ballarat.

Live music is one of the building blocks of human culture, from prehistory until the present day. It's existence and performance may be longer than 55,000 years old.

Music is the expression of human awareness that goes beyond language. All cultures on earth have created music. This music holds the stories of their creation and trials of their being.

Great musicians, from all over the world, have strived for excellence that awes the listener, and most importantly, brings people together. Cultures have crafted instruments that move air in ways that touch and illuminate all experiences of being human. The breadth of music is from nursery rhyme to opera.

It's home is the open field and the grand concert hall. So when a live music venue like Suttons faces closure, it makes the city a poorer place. We lose our belonging to a culture that has a far longer history than rent and property.

The musicians who play live music at Suttons are the continuation of a line of culture that stretches back 55,000 years. The people who listen to live music are in the same line.

If we are to use the words art and culture in reference to our city, if we, as a city are to have any pride in our collective ability to be the home of great music and great musicians, musicians who produce wonderful nights of music, nights that are comparable to any other city in the world, we must look at the closure of this extraordinary venue as something that further divorces us from one of the fundamental joys of life; live music.

When we lose live music venues, it is a loss far greater than a few owed dollars. It is a loss in our link to the great culture of music that has gone before us. We lose a simple and enduring joy that has sustained humanity through all ages. We lose our music.

- Mick Trembath, Ballarat

Railway precinct money best spent elsewhere

Hear, hear for Paul Jenkins' letter (The Courier, August 8) joining the many letters and voices opposing the proposed railway precinct development.

Mr Jenkins sums it up very nicely; we do not need a modern apartment block and retail space ruining our beautiful heritage area. And to subsidise this with $15 million of taxpayers' money is certainly not in our best interests. This money would be better applied to the suggested railway exchange at Warrenheip which would service all of Ballarat and divert commuter traffic out of, rather than into, the city. One thousand plus, car parks makes far better sense and no heritage to worry about. On and off the freeway for a five to 10 minute trip. It seems our politicians are not listening.

- Anna and Brian Canny, Lake Gardens

Guy to be commended for his transparency

VICTORIAN Opposition Leader Matthew Guy must be commended for taking the step to put allegations against him under the spotlight. Very few politicians take responsibility to have their actions examined. In Ballarat, the big question marks over the planned Ballarat Railway Station precinct have the potential to have a far more reaching impact on the Ballarat community for generations to come, so it would be very nice if the Transport Minister, Jacinta Allan and the other ministers involved were able to follow Matthew Guy's example and place their decision making process under the spotlight. The initial question of how and why the land was 'surplus' is what must be examined by IBAC. Without real transparency, it just seems as though something is not quite right and would definitely fail the pub test. Transparency is a sign of good governance and the IBAC process would give people confidence that their current and future transport needs of Ballarat are given the highest priority at the Ballarat station. A hotel can go anywhere.

- John Nimble, Cardigan