Bay 13 should go - com­mit­tee

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY ROBERT MUIR

Mul­wala’s Lons­dale Re­serve Com­mit­tee has hit back at Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil’s ac­tion to give the re­serve’s Bay 13 an­other life. The com­mit­tee wants to see it de­mol­ished - in line with the coun­cil staff rec­om­men­da­tion.

Com­mit­tee mem­bers were unan­i­mous in their rec­om­men­da­tion that the build­ing - ap­par­ently un­used for five years and white-an­ted - be pulled down.

“The fact that out-of-town coun­cil­lors voted to keep Bay 13, have they ever seen it?” long stand­ing com­mit­tee chair­man Rod Sis­sons, asked.

“The Mas­ter Plan for Bay 13 was that it was go­ing to stay. But since then the white ants have de­stroyed the in­te­rior, lead­ing to a cost fac­tor if noth­ing else. There’s the cost of re­fur­bish­ment ver­sus the cost of de­mo­li­tion. There’s only a lim­ited amount of money.”

Mr Sis­sons is in­trigued at Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil’s Mayor Pat Bourke say­ing he has re­ceived a lot of tele­phone calls want­ing the build­ing saved.

“It’s got me beat. I’ve had no calls,” Mr Sis­sons, a re­tired project man­ager with the mu­ni­tions fac­tory at Mul­wala and a for­mer Mul­wala and district Ci­ti­zen of the Year said. “I only know of two peo­ple who want to keep Bay 13 as it is. A num­ber of peo­ple have said to me ‘what a good idea to pull it down and make some­thing new’.

“The Bob Beams Pav­il­ion (which was on the other side of the foot­ball oval) served the com­mu­nity well but we out­grew it and with (the late) Brian McKee the driv­ing force, a mag­nif­i­cent new and larger pav­il­ion was built which has taken over things like cel­e­bra­tions in the old Bay 13.

“Bay 13 served its pur­pose. It hasn’t been used for about five years. The crick­eters don’t need it but need a stor­age fa­cil­ity which is part of the Bay 13 re­place­ment.”

Spir­ited de­bate took place at Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil’s Jan­uary meet­ing with Cr Paul Miegel back­ing the value of Lons­dale Re­serve Com­mit­tee and Cr David Lon­g­ley say­ing the mas­ter plan is a liv­ing doc­u­ment which can be changed.

But af­ter de­bate, coun­cil­lors de­cided against the com­mit­tee’s and staff rec­om­men­da­tion, par­tic­u­larly as the cur­rent and sev­eral years old mas­ter plan refers to main­tain­ing the plain cream brick build­ing Bay 13 and be­cause of her­itage rea­sons.

“What her­itage rea­sons?” asked Mr Sis­sons. “The build­ing is only 20 years old. The main con­cern of that area and be­hind Bay 13 look­ing south is drainage.

“The only suc­cess­ful way is to lift the im­me­di­ate sur­rounds so we can get the wa­ter to drain back to the street.”

Lons­dale Re­serve user groups, Mr Sis­sons said, voted unan­i­mously to de­mol­ish the build­ing. Also on the com­mit­tee is coun­cil’s parks and fa­cil­i­ties man­ager who is also un­der­stood to say the big­gest is­sue is drainage.

Im­me­di­ate past Mul­wala Foot­ball Net­ball Club Pres­i­dent and Lons­dale Re­serve Com­mit­tee mem­ber John Fran­cis said the club’s motto is ‘Re­spect the past, build the fu­ture’. “We need to look to the fu­ture,” the Mul­wala res­i­dent and Ber­ri­gan Pri­mary School Prin­ci­pal said.

“As Bay 13 cur­rently stands, it is use­less. The in­for­ma­tion given by coun­cil of­fi­cers is that Lons­dale Re­serve would be bet­ter served if that build­ing was re­moved, drainage was un­der­taken and new stor­age, kitchen and toi­let fa­cil­i­ties were con­structed.”

Mr Fran­cis said he could un­der­stand some­one’s point of view that Bay 13 should be con­sid­ered for re­ten­tion with money poured into it 20 years ago.

“But whilst there have been many joy­ous oc­ca­sions in­side that build­ing, there would have been a limit on the cost of the build­ing and its con­di­tion has been deemed un­safe by coun­cil staff,” he said.

“It hasn’t been cared for and the large in­ci­dence of white ants is ob­vi­ous. Coun­cil’s en­gi­neer­ing staff are say­ing it’s un­safe.”

Steel beams are still amongst the ma­te­rial in­side Bay 13. The build­ing, how­ever, has been al­lowed to be run down and is ob­vi­ously un­used.

Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil’s res­o­lu­tion also in­cludes “en­gag­ing with the Lons­dale Re­serve Com­mit­tee and wider com­mu­nity to up­date the mas­ter plan”.

Af­ter be­ing ap­proached, The Yar­ra­wonga Chron­i­cle has af­forded the Lons­dale Re­serve Com­mit­tee the op­por­tu­nity to re­spond to Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil’s res­o­lu­tion by its coun­cil­lors. Now it’s up to ini­tial high level talks and in­spec­tions be­tween the two par­ties.

A snapshot of Bay 13’s in­te­rior, with Lons­dale Re­serve Com­mit­tee mem­ber John Fran­cis (left) and chair­man Rod Sis­sons.

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