The last steps in decline
Your article on the abandoned Ballarat Secondary College campus in Barkly Street serves to emphasise the destruction and degradation of what used to be the last remnant of the old Ballarat East Town Hall--- its formerly beautiful and well-kept gardens. Historically significant in its blue-stone fencing with its cast iron railings and the proud sign over its entrance , the derelict state inside is a disgrace , yet nobody seems to care. Ballarat is proud of its history, yet this pride is noticeably absent in regard to this treasure.
John B. Quinn
Geography still relevant
Ballarat City Council's wards could be renamed. The current names North, Central and South are entirely logical being descriptive of the areas involved. It is unlikely that any new names will be as easily recognised by residents as referring to their location. Council Ward and Station names have traditionally been based upon the location for an obvious and compelling reason - people need to know where they are.
Stuart Kelly, Ballarat
Fracking no solution
After the crazy promotion of coal under Tony Abbott we now have a strategy to pressure state governments to reverse their opposition to fracking disguised as an energy security measure. The argument is that the bans may cause our lights to go out. This tactic is delivering exactly what the fossil fuel industry wanted when it set out on its massive gas export trade. Are we seriously meant to believe that this is about energy security? Combined with the hostility of this government to renewables we may reasonably conclude that we have a government that favours private sector profits ahead of the national interest while pretending to chastise the corporate sector for its price-gouging.
Hans Paas, Castlemaine
Any form of violence is not to be tolerated no matter what Abbott or anyone else believes. It is inevitable the long and tedious campaign for marriage equality will have an impact on many voters. The Coalition must take some responsibility as they have insisted on a non-compulsory, non-binding survey on marriage equality when it could have been put to the Parliament for a conscience vote.
Robyn Lewis, Raglan,
Destroying the whole
The Civic Hall is remarkable for its layout and functionality. It is comprised of two halls, one large, one smaller, which share extensive backstage facilities, including open areas in the wings and eight dressing rooms. The functionality afforded by this design makes it perfect for a wide range of uses.The latest plans for the refurbished Civic Hall issued by Council, show the lower hall demolished. The original designers would be aghast. It is clear that the Council does not understand how the Civic Hall was designed to work. The two major spaces interrelate and support on another. To cut off one space is to undermine the functionality of the whole.
In 2013 Council moved to demolish the whole hall, in order to build flash new offices for itself. Council required a planning permit for the demolition and an unprecedented number of objections were lodged opposing Council's plans. As a consequence Council was forced to abandon its demolition proposal. The cost to the ratepayers for Council's folly was several million, money wasted by the then CEO. Councillors were thrown out at the following election for supporting this absurd proposal.
Three years on Council is again attempting demolition this time the significant lower hall . This will again require a planning permit, which again will be open to public objections. A second campaign is already planned to collect objections from the community.
.Jonathan Halls, Millbrook.