Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Wangaratta Unlimited … or so they think

with 2 comments


The Rural City of Wangaratta (a.k.a the Centre of the Universe) is dreaming again. Recently they proposed a car free CBD, and now they are planning to incorporate the style of Melbourne’s Docklands and the revitalisation of Geelong’s foreshore precinct into -… wait for it … are you ready? … The Faithful Street precinct backing on to the Ovens River.

Sure the area needs redevelopment – it is the worn out end of the town! At the moment, the area is home to the Courthouse, the Corrections Office, Centrelink, Ovens and King Communtity Health, Worktrainers and a few other government/social amenity operations.

At the other end of the CBD in Ford Street, we have the uppity end of town with the joint government centre and the development of the performing arts centre in close proximity to the library and the cities major churches.

Spending $40,000 in State Government funding to develop the Ovens Riverside Precinct Strategic Plan is a total wank ,,, particularly with an $8 million plan for a multi-storey residential and retail building on the former Faithfull Street Traders site already approved. What else is there to add to a strategic plan that received massive funding back under the mayoralship of Irene Grant.

So the strategic plan will be to attract investors to spend up to $20 million to utilise the contemporary style designs at the Docklands in Melbourne.

I think a fair whack of that $40,000 of funding might be spent by Council sending a delegation to Geelong to assess the recent revitalisation of its foreshore precinct.

Who do they think they are kidding. Investors will surely see through this.

clipped from
FAITHFULL Street could be home to the biggest investment in Wangaratta’s history, with plans to attract developments of up to $25 million into the precinct.
Developing the plan is the next step in council’s ongoing project in the precinct, and follows on from the retail audit released earlier this month.
And council is talking about a big scale, with the aim of attracting investments of between $10 and $25 million in order to properly capitalise on the dual features of Ovens River and Faithfull Street frontage.

That is the scale of investment this precinct is likely to attract,” Mr Nickless said.

Mr Nickless said the revitalisation of the precinct would involve shops and cafes with views of the Ovens River.

We are looking at the Docklands in Melbourne and are hoping for those contemporary style designs,” he said.

Council will also send a delegation to Geelong to assess the recent revitalisation of its foreshore precinct.


Written by Greg Naylor

24 July 2008 at 11:00 am

Posted in social comment

2 Responses

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  1. These sort of projects are commonly justified as “tourist precincts” designed to “attract” tourists. They can work but only IF you are tourist town in the first place, which Wang is not.

    I’d back a large project like that in Bright (ie the revitalisation & modernisation of our CBD) because we ARE a tourist town and therefore the project enhances our main function and reason for being. It just makes sense economically.

    But Wang seems to have an identity crisis and wants to become something it is not, and something it may never be – a town that tourists flock to.

    It needs to sort out what it is and plan accordingly. You’d know better than me Greg, but my perception of Wang is twofold: (1) a service centre supporting & supplying goods & services to its outlying farming & tourist districts
    (2) a pleasant town/city within easy commute of the bigger regional centre of Albury-Wodonga, strategically positioned therefore to attract new arrivals (mainly retirees but also young professionals)

    This ‘Docklands’ plan seems more than a little bit over-the-top and, instead, maybe the council should focus on just providing better roads and all-round everyday services. As for tourism projects, well maybe spend some money creating some nice public areas out your way – where tourists like to go!


    24 July 2008 at 5:24 pm

  2. That is a pretty fair view of Wangaratta, Ray – and coming from outside the area, such views should be aired.

    There is a definite city – rural divide. The RCoW has been referred to as a 60 kph council (i.e. if it is not in the urban area, it has a lower priority. Did yo know we have more than 2,000 kilometres of unmade roads and there is no short or long term program to address that?

    Greg Naylor

    24 July 2008 at 8:47 pm

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