Corones needs our help, quick
THE bulldozers went in at 4am.
The whole Cloudland theatre was matchwood within the hour, the loveliest and most popular dance hall wrecked to make way for a few apartments.
That was 1982. It’s a reminder of what can happen to our heritage. Like bankruptcies, decay and demolition happens first slowly, then suddenly.
Last week’s paper we splashed front page with a story lamenting the state of the Corones Hotel.
Since late last year the hotel has been abandoned, after the owners, ERI Partners, went into receivership.
McGrath Nicol is now managing the huge mid-20th century heritage listed hotel – and, in the view of many including me, they could be doing a better job of it.
The place is an absolute masterpiece. The place has it all – a massive bar, great restaurant, rooms, a few small businesses, even a hall.
The inside of the building is spooky, with knives and forks and plates set out for dinner. The only things missing are customers and staff.
Who knows how long it might take to attract a buyer? It might take months or years. It is the meantime that is the problem.
Someone needs to hold the fort at Corones – for the good of the building, for the town, even for the receivers. The better the state of the building, the more they can sell it for.
At the moment, it is nobody’s responsibility.
Council doesn’t even have keys to get in.
We all have to take responsibility for protecting this bit of Australia’s heritage, I think.
If we don’t, maybe Charleville’s Corones might go the way of Brisbane’s Cloudland – in the blink of an eye. And nobody wants that.