BALLARAT Mayor David Vendy said yesterday Ballarat residents were unlikely to see trams on their streets for at least 10 years even if the current community consultation process supported the $20 million plus plan.
Cr Vendy made the comments after a public meeting was held at the Town Hall on Tuesday night to discuss the details of the proposal to reintroduce trams to Ballarat as a tourist attraction.
More than 80 people attended the meeting which was chaired by Cr Vendy who said he was "quietly pleased" with the turnout.
The people at the meeting had offered a "diverse range of opinions" from opposition to support.
Cr Vendy said yesterday "most people there wanted to make a suggestion" rather than ask questions. He said his impression from the meeting was that most people who attended supported the reintroduction of trams into Ballarat.
But Cr Vendy wanted to emphasise that even if the project gained community support it might not happen for at least a decade.
"We will put it in the top cupboard along with two or three other projects. This is a long-term project that might not happen," Cr Vendy said.
Tuesday night's meeting heard from consultants Booz Allen Hamilton who presented their $68,000 feasibility report and stayed for questions.
Residents were concerned about car parking, the exclusion of Lake Wendouree from the tram route, the impact on the Canadian Creek walking track and potential traffic hazards in Sturt St.
Cr Vendy was adamant that no Ballarat money would be used to fund the project.
Victorian Tourism Minister John Pandazopoulos was on leave but a spokesman said the minister was following the public consultation process and debate over the proposed trams.
Tourism Victoria also had a representative on the steering committee established to oversee the project.
Sovereign Hill executive director Peter Hiscock said Sovereign Hill did not have a view on the proposed tram plan, the matter had not been raised with the board, and he didn't think it would be.
The results of Tuesday's meeting will be included in a report back to council in about eight weeks.