Conflict steps up - shire okay's club's lease

Rachel Brown

Thursday, 21 July 2005



HEART OF MATTER: Kyneton residents outside State Parliament yesterday protest proposed plans.


MACEDON Ranges Shire residents hailed a meeting with the State Government to protect the heart of Kyneton as a success.


City workers joined more than 50 residents on the steps of State Parliament yesterday to rally against Planning Minister Robert Hulls signing a 21-year lease allowing the Kyneton Mechanics Institute redevelopment to proceed.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council last month signed the lease with the Kyneton Bowling club, supporting the $4 million redevelopment.


As protesters waved banners and echoed chants, several residents met with Mr Hulls to discuss community concerns for the proposed redevelopment.


President of the Kyneton Town Centre Association Jane Turner said a number of issues were raised during the short meeting.


Lack of community consultation and long-term impact on the 147-year-old institute, were high on the agenda.


"We conveyed our concern for the whole process," Ms Turner said.


"There are a number of flaws in the process and we want him to say no," she said.


Although Mr Hulls gave no indication when a decision on signing the lease would be made, Ms Turner said she was confident the community's views would be considered.


"We didn't expect an answer but we spoke to his advisers and politicians who are well aware of the community concerns."


Mrs Turner said legal options are being considered, and would be further investigated if the redevelopment was to proceed.


"We are still passionate. The outcome will decide what we will do."


A spokesperson for Mr Hulls said he would consider the residents' views, but did not give an indication as to when a final decision would be made.