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Mayor updates Morwell meeting on CBD developments

Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Tony Hanning fielded a list of achievements in the Morwell CBD

By Latrobe City Council - 20th March 2001 - Back to News

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Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Tony Hanning fielded a list of achievements in the Morwell CBD when he was called on to provide an overview on developments in the town when addressing a meeting of Advance Morwell on Wednesday evening.

The Mayor addressed a number of questions from the floor of the meeting about the Morwell CBD Revitalisation Plan, the Regional Art Gallery and Council’s corporate headquarters project.

When asked about the Morwell CBD Revitalisation Plan, Cr Hanning explained the Plan had been adopted by Council in October 1999.

“It was developed by a Taskforce including Federal, State and Local Government members as well as community and business representatives. The Plan was intended to be practical, realistic and realisable, rather than an urban designer's dream. It consists of a number of elements, which can be readily achieved with input from Council, the State Government and local businesses working together,” Cr Hanning said.

“Two members of the Taskforce have post graduate urban planning qualifications, and the plan has also been vetted by the State Department of Infrastructure. It has also been given the stamp of approval by international urban design expert, Kevin Murray, President of the UK’s Royal Town Planning Institute,” Cr Hanning added.

Councillor Hanning said a Morwell CBD Revitalisation newsletter had been circulated to all businesses within the Morwell CBD during the week, which gave an update on a range of projects and developments.

“It is pleasing to note the very good progress of the Regional Art Gallery redevelopment. The Federal Minister for the Arts, the Hon Peter McGauran, opened the first stage of the project last Friday and complemented the Council, the Art Gallery Committee of Management and the Project Steering Committee, on the excellent work done to provide improved access to this significant cultural building for the whole municipality. The Minister was extremely excited about the vision of the completed project, which will give this City, and indeed the Region, a well deserved state-of-the-art Gallery. The funding of $550,000 from the Federation Fund was the catalyst for further funding from the State Government of $2.39 million, which combined with Council's contribution of $1 million makes a total redevelopment of just under $4 million,” Councillor Hanning said.

“Council’s office project is also moving ahead. The railway land on Commercial Road has been purchased for a sum of $340,000. The office building will occupy about one third of the land purchased, with the remainder being available for other commercial development,” Cr Hanning explained.

“Tenders have closed for the architect to design the building, which will have about 2500 square metres of office and meeting space (about 1650 square metres of which is for staff accommodation) and about 1000 square metres allocated to the Morwell library branch. The contract with the architect will outline decision-making stages in the project development, such as assessment of the suitability site, approval of the design, preparation of the drawings and project management. This is a very prudent approach for Council with a contract for a major project such as this.

“Council has $4.3 million in its budget for this project and has applied to the State Government for additional funding for the public library component. Council’s budget for the project is made up of funds from assets sales, funds from rates and borrowings. Loan funds have been acquired with the approval of the State Government at a very competitive rate of interest. All these funds have been invested and are earning good interest whilst the project is being planned,” Cr Hanning added.

In conclusion, Councillor Hanning said that the Council was investing both in projects which served the whole municipality as well as projects which would assist in the revitalisation of central Morwell.

“Council’s contribution to projects, which will serve the whole municipality, amount to $5.3 million ($1 million for the Regional Art Gallery and $4.3 million for the City offices). A further $200,000 of Council funds will be directed to traffic, streetscape and pedestrian improvements as contributions to attract funds from the State Government for various projects,” Cr Hanning said.

“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to provide a progress report on key developments within Latrobe City, and their relationship to the revitalisation of the Morwell CBD,” Cr Hanning added.

Media Enquiries:

Cr. Tony Hanning, Mayor, Latrobe City
tel. 0417 373 577

Cr. Brendan Jenkins, Deputy Mayor, Latrobe City
tel. 0417 374 590

Ms. Penny Holloway, Chief Executive Officer,
tel. 5173 1401 or 0417 557 103

Jeremy Bein, Public Relations and Communications Officer,
tel. 5173 1468


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