Bendigo Gaol theatre project gets green light to start in 2013

CONSTRUCTION will begin on the $25.8 million community theatre at the Bendigo Gaol in early 2013.

The go-ahead was given yesterday, with the City of Greater Bendigo issuing a planning permit for the project after no hearings were requested at Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal.

In August three objections to the project were formally lodged by Daryl McClure and his wife, Elaine Chang, and Ted Coleman. 

City of Greater Bendigo mayor Alec Sandner said the ability to move to the next stage was exciting. “While the project had received some objections, these have been dealt with in the planning permit conditions,” he said. 

“We have received notification from the VCAT that no requests for a hearing on the project were made in relation to the project, which is great news. 

“The next stage is the completion of the detailed designs and contract documentation to enable the Victorian education department, in association with the City of Greater Bendigo, to put the project out to tender, and this is expected to happen before the end of the year.”

The project has attracted $12.3 million in federal government funds, $11 million from the state government and $3 million from the council.

The theatre design received approval, with only minor changes, from Heritage Victoria in early August. It is expected to be completed in 2014.

“This is an extremely important and exciting project for Greater Bendigo and I am pleased that the issuing of the planning permit now provides a green light for the project to move to its next stage,” Cr Sandner said.

The 1000-seat design includes two tiers, a large stage, fly tower and dressing rooms plus music, dance and drama studio spaces, general learning areas and a commercial kitchen.

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