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What is the proposal?
Council proposes to utilise The Rex building in delivering the Hepburn Hub project, locating the Library, office accommodation and community spaces. The Daylesford Town Hall will accommodate the Visitor Information Centre, updated Senior Citizens’ Room and laneway/gallery space. Improvements to the Town Hall building and Daylesford outdoor pool will still proceed with the new proposal.

Why are we considering the proposal?
In recent weeks, a new opportunity has arisen to acquire the building following discussions with the new owner of The Rex in Daylesford regarding public access to toilet facilities. This option was not possible at the Sites & Spaces stage of the Hepburn Hub consultation. Council believes it is a better option than progressing with the Daylesford Town Hall redevelopment. The Rex/Town Hall proposal delivers integrated services, saves ratepayer money and means we will also be less reliant on Government funding to deliver the project.

What are the benefits?
The Rex combined with the Town Hall option for the Hepburn Hub will significantly improve the delivery time frame of the Hub, increase financial benefits to ratepayers and improve service delivery for the community. The risks associated with construction are also minimised with this proposal.

The Rex is an iconic building that has been criticised by the community for being poorly utilised. The reinvigoration of The Rex as part of the Hepburn Hub will mean a better utilisation of the space and more patronage of the building. Reinvigorating this iconic building will generate greater economic benefits for the community.

What about improvements to Town Hall & the outdoor pool?
Improvements to the Town Hall building and Daylesford outdoor pool will still proceed with the new proposal. The Rex/Town Hall proposal rejuvenates an iconic building, while ensuring improvements to the Town Hall an even larger outdoor space will be delivered.

What about the cinema?
Council is committed to working with the Cinema Committee of Management to ensure that appropriate accommodation is found. Talks are already underway. We acknowledge the community’s strong affection for the Cinema.

What about car parking?
The Rex has 46 car parking spaces at the rear of the building, accessible from Duke Street. Council will also look at formalising additional car parking spaces in Duke Street.

Will rates go up to pay for the project?
No. The project will generate savings/additional revenue in excess of $420,000 per annum. A 1% rate increase is the equivalent of $160,000.

Consultation
There has been an extensive community consultation process over the last two years on the Hepburn Hub. Speaking with the community, stakeholders and user groups has enabled Council to determine the best way to improve and integrate services into a hub model. We have a significantly greater understanding of the Hub’s requirements, particularly how services and spaces can be consolidated to benefit the community.

CEO Aaron van Egmond has been speaking with members of the community about the new proposal at consultation sessions being held at The Rex.

  • Wednesday 27th – 12-1pm
  • Thursday 28th – 1-2pm
  • Friday 29th – 4:30-6pm
  • Saturday 30th – 10am-12 noon
  • Monday 1st – 12-1pm
  • Wednesday 3rd – 5-6pm
  • Saturday 6th – 10am-12 noon
  • Tuesday 9th – 1-2pm

There will be a 15 minute presentation at the commencement of each session.  If you are unable to make any of these sessions you can have your say on Feedback Forms available at Council Customer Service centres or email shire@hepburn.vic.gov.au.

What next?
Following the period of community consultation on the proposal, a final decision to exercise the option to purchase The Rex will be considered at the 16 August 2016 Council meeting.


Click here for a copy of the media release regarding The Rex/Town Hall proposal

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