Labor candidate for Ripon Daniel McGlone, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews and Ararat Rural City Mayor Cr Paul Hooper discuss the much needed Ararat Town Hall upgrade. Picture: PETER PICKERING
OPPOSITION Leader Daniel Andrews has promised to transform Ararat’s historic town hall with a pledge of $3.7 million funding for the Ararat Arts Precinct Development.
Mr Andrews joined Labor Candidate for Ripon, Daniel McGlone, outside the building which houses the Regional Art Gallery and Performing Arts Centre, to make the election commitment last Thursday.
Ararat Rural City Mayor, Cr Paul Hooper said the redevelopment has been on the books for a long time.
“This is a project that has been around for a long time, the genesis for it dates back to when I was first elected to council in the late 1990s,” he said.
“You could reasonably say this is well overdue, take the ol’ girl now, when you have a good look around at the moment she is looking pretty tired.”
The scope of the Ararat Arts Precinct Redevelopment is as expansive as it is expensive.
It includes increasing the size of the Art Gallery by at least 30 percent and construction of new toilets, both at the rear of, and inside the Performing Arts Centre itself.
There will be one main entrance for both the gallery and arts centre, and more storage and loading space for performance material behind the scenes.
There will also be a cafeteria erected on the High Street corner, new bar facility and supper room and improved disabled access.
Council’s services’ manager, planning and development Neil Manning said he was pleased to finally see money committed to the long awaited redevelopment of the Town Hall.
“The last upgrade was 1978, this redevelopment proposes to set us up again for another 20 or 30 years,” he said.
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Mr Manning said Ararat Rural City Council would appreciate Coalition support for the project and will seek further funding no matter who is elected on November 29.
“We would be very pleased to have the Coalition come on board and guarantee that the money is there either way after November 29,” he said.
“Regardless of the outcome we’ll be seeking further funding in 2015 to make the project a reality.”
Mr Andrews said he was committing to the investment to ensure more people visit Ararat, enjoy the fantastic location and all it has to offer.
“It’s about jobs, about tourism, bringing people to this community and the economic opportunities it provides for families right across this city but also the district and region as well,” he said.
“I’m so proud to say that a Labor government would invest $3.7 million to upgrade and redevelop the Ararat Town Hall, bringing the best exhibitions, the best shows and the biggest number of visitors to this fantastic community to come and spend their money and spend their night.
“This will provide people with the ability to enjoy the best food, the best wine, the best experiences – that’s what this redevelopment is all about.”
Mr Andrews heaped praise on Labor candidate for Ripon, Daniel McGlone and the Ararat Rural City Council.
“This is a project the council has done a great job in working up, Labor candidate Daniel McGlone has also done a great job in making sure I understood just how important this project was,” he said.
“These are the sorts of announcements we see in Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong, well it’s about time we saw them in Ararat and Labor will ensure this $3.7 million grows job opportunities for Ararat families so they have a strong future.
“Our regional cities deserve modern cultural precincts to draw in visitors from across Victoria and make the local economy more diverse.”
Mr Andrews said Ripon voters were now faced with a pretty clear decision in eight days’ time.
“They can pick a government that’s done nothing for them for four long years and is now promising everything and more, or pick Labor which will make sensible, moderate, practical promises that are grounded in common sense.
“We may well be out promised in this campaign, but we will not be outworked.
“Daniel’s (McGlone) doing a fantastic job and we will continue to live up to our fundamental obligation and that’s to give everybody in Ripon and everyone in Victoria a choice on November 29.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.