Home' My Ballarat : September 2009 Contents City of Ballarat Community Magazine September 2009
Cr Judy Verlin
City of Ballarat
From the Mayor's desk
When this Council was elected nine months ago it made a commitment
to comprehensive community engagement as a key component of its
planning and decision-making processes.
Council continues to make good on that promise and is currently
engaging with various sectors of the business and residential community
on a range of issues and projects.
Public input and feedback has been invaluable in helping Council to
refine, shape and strengthen its vision for the kind of city we want Ballarat
to be, the type of economic development we want to attract and the type
of amenities we provide for residents.
Current consultation is around the future look, feel and functionality of the
CBD, and the redevelopment of the Aquatic Centre.
In the near future we will begin a major community consultation process
around Council's new Economic Strategy -- particularly in regard to Council's
aspiration to make Ballarat the regional capital of Western Victoria.
The community will also be invited to have input into the latest proposal
for the Civic Hall site, and a community reference group will be formed to
provide advice to Council on Stage 2 of the Eureka Centre.
Understandably some issues or projects generate more discussion,
comment and feedback than others. The bottom line is this, Council
wants to engage with residents and ratepayers on a variety of issues, and
provides many opportunities to do so.
The opportunities are there to make your thoughts and opinions known.
I would encourage you to take them. Council genuinely values community
feedback and wants to hear from you.
Civic Hall proposal
Ballarat's Civic Hall site could be redeveloped to provide office
accommodation for Council, state and federal government departments and
other organisations. The proposal would create a new centre for civic and
business activity in the CBD.
Council has received independent advice that previous proposals for the site
were not successful because they were speculative and did not have
committed end-users or tenants. Council's involvement as the core tenant
would give the project the financial certainty previous proposals have lacked.
Council's aim is for the project to be delivered in a way that would not
require rate rises and would ensure the organisation's long term financial
viability. If the proposal goes ahead surplus Council-owned assets would be
sold to finance the project.
A feasibility study is about to begin and it will consider the following:
• development options related to the relocation of Council's
administrative operations to a purpose-built facility at the
Civic Hall site;
• a detailed scoping study to provide the necessary business case to
support a formal decision to relocate administrative functions to
the Civic Hall site; and
• identify potential parties interested in joining with the City of Ballarat
in commissioning a purpose-built development for office and
complementary uses at the Civic Hall site.
The proposal would enable the Town Hall to become the civic and community
heart of Ballarat. The freed-up Town Hall could be used for civic receptions
and Council meetings, as well as a variety of community activities.
Image courtesy of The Courier.
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