Council resolves to sell The Rex

Published on 19 July 2022

The façade of the Rex building in Vincent street Daylesford

At tonight’s meeting, Hepburn Shire Council resolved to sell The Rex building in Vincent Street, Daylesford.

In November 2021, Councillors decided to not proceed with the Hepburn Hub at The Rex project and voted to sell the building through a public process. In accordance with the Local Government Act this process requires community engagement.

The community were invited to complete a survey or submit a submission on behalf of a community group on the proposed sale, noting that Council would not consider a revival of the Hepburn Hub at The Rex project, which was to include a library, auditorium, Council staff accommodation and community spaces, including a co-working space. In addition, proposed uses for the building would only be considered if they were financially viable and had significant community support.  The engagement process was designed in accordance with Council’s Engagement Policy, the Local Government Act and input from external expertise.  

Mayor, Cr Tim Drylie, said that the decision to sell the building in November 2021 took into account a number of factors, including costs for the project continuing to mount over many years, Council’s financial position, construction issues with the building and uncertainty with the proposed design to deliver expected outcomes.

“The Hepburn Hub at The Rex is a legacy project from decisions made by the previous Council,” said Cr Drylie.

“The decision to sell The Rex has been a difficult one for Councillors to make and we understand it will result in mixed feelings across our community,” said Cr Tim Drylie.

Council received 369 individual survey responses and four group responses. The results of the survey were:

  • 66% of respondents were against selling The Rex,
  • 30% were supportive of selling The Rex, and
  • 4% were not sure/neutral.

A significant number of respondents were focussed on retaining The Rex as a community hub in accordance with the original proposal, including the cinema (and/or performance space) and public toilets, which was outside the scope of the engagement.

After investigating a range of alternative uses for the building, along with Council’s ability to deliver on other current and aspirational projects, Councillors determined the site could not be retained as a community asset despite understanding the importance some members of the community attach to the building and the communities desire for access to improved community facilities.

The purchase of The Rex building and other matters relating to the project remain under investigation by the Local Government Inspectorate. 

“Council has cooperated fully with the Inspectorate. Part of the resolution at the Council Meeting is that the CEO will write to the Minister for Local Government, and the Local Government Inspectorate noting Council’s disappointment in the delays with publishing the investigation into The Rex,” said Cr Drylie.

Council officers will now implement a sale process for the building in the coming months, with external agents appointed to assist and prepare a final report for Council when a buyer is identified.  Council will also now review its land and building holdings and undertake a planning project that will review possible solutions of staffing accommodation and community facilities that were to be included in the Hepburn Hub.

To view the full Community Engagement Report and more information visit

The full resolution is as follows.

That Council:

  1. Acknowledges the significant community interest and thanks our community for the time invested in providing the feedback;
  2. Notes the Community Engagement Reports;
  3. Determines to sell the property known as The Rex located at 49 – 51 Vincent Street Daylesford and house at 8 Duke Street Daylesford, currently on one (1) Certificate of Title, through a public sale process;
  4. Delegates to the Chief Executive Officer the authority to manage the sale process by appointing an appropriate agent and undertake the sale;
  5. Request the Chief Executive Officer to provide regular updates on the sale process to Councillors;
  6. Bring a report to Council to recommend the execution of the Contract of Sale on behalf of Council;
  7. Sets the Reserve Price for Sale based on the independent Market Valuation received;
  8. Publicly releases the Reserve Price value following the completion of the sales process that has resulted in final settlement of the contract of sale; and
  9. Request the Chief Executive Officer write to the Minister Local Government, and the Local Government Inspectorate, noting Council’s disappointment in the delays of the publishing of the investigation into the Rex, and request the report be finalized and published as soon as possible.