Think big picture for our city
Albury City's Cultural Precinct Masterplan Review is under way. Melbourne architects, Taylor Cullity Lethlean have been appointed to act as consultants to head the review. This week they met with Councillors in a briefing session.
The scope of the consultant's task is extensive. Whilst the Masterplan Review of 2015 was narrow-focused, this review covers the whole of the central city block bounded by Kiewa, Swift, Olive and Dean Streets.
Under consideration will be St Matthews' Rectory, Belbridges, the Retro Café, the Entertainment Centre, the Albury Police Station, the former Methodist Church and Church Hall and the State Government Offices. The Premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian, has recently confirmed that all of the state government properties in the precinct are 'on the table'. Also in the picture is the Convention Centre, currently having plans prepared for its regeneration in an $18 million project.
Taylor Cullity Lethlean now can focus on the big overall picture covering redevelopment of the cultural precinct over a period of 15 years or so. It represents a fantastic opportunity to consider what our city centre might look like for the next 75 years. Our Councillors are to be congratulated for embarking on such a bold enterprise.
The review involves extensive community consultation, so it is now over to the citizens of Albury to develop ideas as to how this area is best utilised for community purposes. In this regard, it is important for these ideas to relate to overall redevelopment, and be much greater than blocking opposition to individual proposals. They will be wanted both before and after a draft masterplan is released for public comment in February.
In this way we can assist the consultants now and our Councillors by decision-time next April, to create the city of our future, and ensure that as its population grows, its supporting infrastructure grows comparably. By working together we can make certain that the city of Albury becomes an even more liveable city.
Noel Jackling, Uiver historian, Mentone
Rules on the run dangerous
The increased number of virus cases in regional Victoria is of concern. Making new rules on the run without considering the consequences it fraught with danger. Any decision made without sleeping on it and considering the long-term effects is usually a bad decision.
The number of Melbourne people who have changed their licence and car registration to regional areas is significant. Using holiday home addresses plus parents addresses is a common practice.
Maybe Premier Daniel Andrews could explain why after three months we still have our movements restricted when this virus is supposed to be active for two to four weeks.
This pandemic has shown that state governments are past there used-by date and should be scrapped along with local governments for regional governments model.
John Walker, Wangaratta
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