Arts cen­tre de­lay af­fects first shows

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

The West Gipp­s­land Mu­sic and Drama Eisteddfod is be­ing forced to re­con­sider its op­tions for stag­ing the an­nual event af­ter de­lays to the West Gipp­s­land Arts Cen­tre re­de­vel­op­ment were re­vealed last week.

Com­pul­sory fire pro­tec­tion works to be un­der­taken as part of the con­struc­tion process have caused “un­avoid­able” de­lays, ac­cord­ing to Baw Baw Shire.

But the de­lay, which mayor Joe Gauci said may be only a week or so, has thrown plan­ning for the eisteddfod into dis­ar­ray.

The eisteddfod was sched­uled to be the first event staged at the arts cen­tre when it re-opens in Au­gust.

War­ragul Re­gional Col­lege also plans to stage a school pro­duc­tion at the new cen­tre.

Cr Gauci said coun­cil was work­ing with both groups to de­velop al­ter­na­tive op­tions.

Eisteddfod pres­i­dent Mered­ith Davey said the com­mit­tee would meet tonight to dis­cuss op­tions.

She said they were re­ally ex­cited to be the first booking for the new arts cen­tre and it was dis­ap­point­ing that events would have to be re­lo­cated.

“It is a won­der­ful re­source and we were look­ing for­ward to be­ing back there this year.

Ms Davey said the shire con­tacted them last week.

She said they had known all along it was a tight time­frame and the shire had main­tained con­tact through­out the re­de­vel­op­ment.

“It is up­set­ting for ev­ery­one,” she said. “We are now look­ing at schools and halls and what is avail­able.”

Ms Davey said some events may have to be can­celled while oth­ers, in­clud­ing the paraeisteddfod would be post­poned.

Cr Gauci said there were some fire proof­ing works that needed to be un­der­taken to en­sure fire pro­tec­tion re­quire­ments com­plied with build­ing codes and reg­u­la­tions.

He said it was some­thing that was “pickedup” dur­ing build­ing in­spec­tions.

Con­tin­ued p2

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