IMAGINE Civic Hall as a bustling youth centre with music, daily creative workshops and plenty of space for young people to hang out in a drug and alcohol free environment.
That’s the vision put forth by youth activist Tim Coleman, who DJed out the front of Central Square Shopping Centre yesterday afternoon.
Mr Coleman set up his decks and erected cardboard signs, both of which were warmly received by local youths.
“I think these kids have all got so much to offer and it’s better to work with them than against,” he said.
“I’m just making a bit of a statement. I don’t want to sign a petition, I just want to come out and play some music.
“This is my submission (for Civic Hall).”
About 30 youths were present during the public display, before council officers ordered the music be shut down.
“A lot of these kids cause trouble because they’re bored, but when they’re not bored look at them, they’ve got a lot of potential,” Mr Coleman said.
“I think it would be a big step in the community.
“If they had somewhere to hang out they could realise their potential.”
Dance teacher Adrian Tapp said he came down to Central Square most days to hang out with his friends, and was tired of all the trouble.
“I think it’s a great idea because that centre has been sitting there for years and it hasn’t been touched.
“It’s getting vandalised and graffiti over it all the time,” he said.
“All the youths that come around and fight and drink in the street and cause trouble, they need a space so why not use the place that’s not being used.”
Ballarat teenager Stephanie Barbara said Mr Coleman’s proposal would make a big difference for her and her friends, who regularly hang out around Central Square.
“It would mean we have something to do instead of getting into trouble all the time,” she said.
“We all have to hang out here and we get in trouble for it but there’s nowhere else in Ballarat to go.”
A City of Ballarat spokesperson urged Mr Coleman to make a formal submission for Civic Hall.
“It’s great to see our young people having a say about the spaces that are important to them,” the spokesperson said.
“Ideas for the future of Civic Hall are encouraged from all of the community until Friday 25 May 2012.”
Submissions can be made by Twitter using #civichall2012, Facebook and email.