The amendment will pave the way for construction of Bendigo’s new $25.8 million, 1,000 seat community theatre project.
“This project has strong local support, particularly from the City of Greater Bendigo, will create 121 construction jobs and be an important community asset upon completion,” Mr Guy said.
“Along with the construction of the $600 million new Bendigo Hospital, this facility will represent new investment in Victoria’s fourth largest city that adds to the confidence and social capital befitting one of the largest inland cities in Australia.
“This project has strong support from the Greater Bendigo community and will provide state of the art cultural and educational facilities that will further put Bendigo on the cultural map and add to Bendigo’s reputation as our most trendy regional city.”
“Further, the historical importance of the site has not been underestimated and the project will pay respect to the heritage significance of the Bendigo Gaol site."
Mr Guy called in the project after an appeal lead by former mayor Daryl McClure, to the Victorian Civil and Adminsitrative Tribunal.The $25.8 million project is being funded by the Victorian Coalition Government, Australian Government and the City of Greater Bendigo and was given planning certainty through the Planning Minister, incorporating the theatre plans in to the city’s planning scheme," Mr Guy said.
“It was vitally important for Greater Bendigo that this project receive planning certainty and proceed and as such an incorporated planning document was necessary to give confidence that it would go ahead."
Nationals Member for Northern Victoria Region, Damian Drum, today welcomed move, calling it "swift" and "positive".
“It is now possible for this long-needed project to happen without being threatened by unnecessary and potentially expensive delays through objections,” he said.
“The Coalition State Government has taken on the theatre-in-the-gaol as a project of major importance to Bendigo’s development.
“A small number of people have expressed concerns at the Government’s decision to remove this important work from the usual objection process, but it is this Government’s belief – and mine – that the tiny number of objectors, and the peripheral issues they raised should not be allowed to jeopardise a project which has the overwhelming support of the community, Bendigo Senior Secondary College, the council, the Federal Government and the State Government.
“All of the issues mentioned by the objectors have already been addressed in the strategic work done by council, or are dealt with in the design phase.
“The Baillieu/Ryan Government said it would do what was needed to get this job done – and that’s what we’ve done,” Mr Drum said.
Mr Drum said it was time to stop nit-picking and to get on with the project.
“This is one case where it could really be said that the show must go on," he said.