ROPE PARK HICCUP
Planned rope climbing drawcard gets tied up
ONGOING uncertainty about the viability of a proposed convention centre on Geelong’s waterfront is holding up an exciting new venture.
A high ropes course that extends over Corio Bay, supported by a 100-seat cafe, has been proposed for Western Beach.
Proponents of the Sky Rig Adventure Park were on the verge of applying for a planning permit when they were halted by a State Government ban on development in the area. The freeze was issued as the Government worked on a master plan for the long-awaited convention and exhibition centre, on the adjacent Deakin University waterfront car park.
But that master plan has stalled and the centrepiece project remains in limbo, with fears that the business case has revealed that a convention centre is unviable on the site.
That has ensured that Sky Rig, which has been crafted after talks with the council and local tourism bodies, has been left hanging.
Geelong council’s investment and attraction director, Brett Luxford, said Sky Rig would set up on land at the Western Beach boat yard.
The disused site had been identified as a suitable location for a tourist venture, with the council pursuing a clean-up of the contaminated land before the Government’s intervention.
“Following an expression of interest process seeking development proposals for Western Beach, the City entered into an agreement to progress the Sky Rig concept,” Mr Luxford said.
“However, after consultation with the State Government, it was agreed to suspend any further development of the Sky Rig proposal until the business case and master plan for the proposed Convention and Exhibition Centre are finalised.”
Ocean Grove-based DE atelier Architects has crafted plans for the Sky Rig venture.
“The building is a 500 sqm facility incorporating an 11m high public viewing tower for observation of the Sky Rig and wider Geelong,” the company says.
The proposal includes a cafe, commercial kitchen and areas to host private functions.
“The design incorporates an innovative re-use of shipping containers responding to the history of the site, cost and environmental considerations.”
After ruling out funding for the convention centre in this year’s Budget, the Government is yet to release the completed business case.
The planned Sky Rig