The outcry from so many different sectors of the public at the derisory sale price for the gaol must give the council cause for reconsideration.
Far from being a liability, the gaol is one of Castlemaine’s best assets, a building that has formed a large part of the town’s character and is a magnificent tourist opportunity to be capitalised upon.
Regrettably, this council has never promoted a vision for the old gaol’s future neither has it developed a community consultation process that manages, in an inclusive way, such controversial issues as the old gaol, Western Oval or Chewton pool.
What advice from Regional Development Victoria and the Regional Development Institute, or Price Waterhouse Coopers (and other State-appointed bodies) has the council sought to assist in preparing a comprehensive tourist and community development plan for Castlemaine, which would necessarily include the old gaol?
Examples of similar regional revived historic sites are Geelong Wool warehouses, the Port Melbourne Gasworks site, the Korumburra Coal mines, the Beechworth Gaol, Echuca Wharves, Tower Hill Warrnambool etc.
For us to feel we can contribute to the evolution of our small town, we need to set-up a genuine consultative process where control is not awarded to a single entity but shared by responsible community and economic interests.
This town is fortunate in having citizens with expertise in a wide range of fields, i.e. engineering, design, science, business, finance, media, marketing, project management and the arts.
Let us use their inspiration, creativity and resources to imaginatively develop this asset and restore this building – Alhambra like – to a glorious and productive status.
Before selling such an irreplaceable asset, the council should at least suspend further decisions until after the elections. Furthermore, any future negotiations should quarantine the gaol buildings and perimeter walls from future land sales.
Establishing a consultative process that engages the ratepayer and removes the council’s besieged attitude should be the first priority.
Producing a visionary proposal for the old gaol that creates more jobs and careers, thereby enhancing this town’s liveability for all, would be the next.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲学校.