I seem to have covered the news, sport and weather in this post :).
The Ballarat Civic Hall redevelopment has been postponed in order to organise an independent public survey to gauge public feedback. Costing $40 million, the Civic Hall will be demolished to make way for council offices and some public space. The latest set of plans (there have been a couple of measures proposed over the years, at least since I moved here in 2004) have been met with a great deal of disquiet and anger from the community.
People opposing the current redevelopment have held meetings and organised walks and protests against Council taking over a public space and spending an exorbitant amount of money to redevelop it for their staff offices. Some options proposed for the Civic Hall have instead suggested reopening, retro-fitting and reusing the Civic Hall for an arts space.
Having an independent survey should have been done well before in the planning process. Despite the fact that it has been sitting unused and derelict since I have lived here, it is a public space and one for which many long term Ballarat residents have many fond memories.*
An independent survey will be more objective than a simple news poll in The Courier and will access a broader spectrum of the Ballarat community. Currently there is the current planning application currently on display which is open for consultation and comment. There will be a chance for members of the public to put questions to the council on Sunday 27th November at the Regent Cinema.
The ABC has more information on the Civic Hall saga with audio clips from councillors and people opposed to the development as well as previous articles.
* A couple of caveats- Mr BG is an employee of the Ballarat City Council and I am not a long-term Ballarat Resident, so there are no fond memories of my meeting my husband, nor losing my virginity there, nor winning big at bingo…
According to the Bureau of Meterology, Ballarat can look forward to a long, hot summer due to La Nina conditions and a warm Indian Ocean. As I type this, my right eyebrow (a long-time bullsh*t detector) is raised. I still have my winter doona on the bed and I wore my flannel pyjamas to bed last night, and it’s late November! None of the outdoor swimming pools have opened either, so I’m not entirely convinced…
The Courier is runnng a competition to determine the best dressed person at last weekend’s Ballarat Cup. There are some lovely fashionable ladies and gentleman present, although I don’t quite understand the need for gentlemen to wear white shoes with black pants. Then again, I don’t understand why young ladies would choose to wear strapless dresses to a race meeting on a day when it was blustery and cold :).