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Backflip on The Rex?

April 27th, 2022Backflip on The Rex?

Hepburn Shire Council appears to have done a backflip on the sale of The Rex building in Vincent Street.

Hepburn Shire Council appears to have done a backflip on the sale of The Rex building in Vincent Street.

On April 7 this year, Mayor Cr Tim Drylie told The Local that, in accordance with the Local Government Act, the November 2021 motion to cease the Hepburn Hub project and sell The Rex building could not be rescinded “as officers have commenced actioning it”.

Yet, the council has, this afternoon, Wednesday, April 27, issued a media release with Cr Drylie saying the council wants to “consider community views before ultimately deciding to proceed or not with the sale”.

“While at this point, we don’t see a clear purpose for retaining The Rex, given the lack of finances to undertake any works at the site, if there is strong community support for using The Rex for a worthwhile and suitable purpose, we may be open to exploring alternate ideas, but they would need to be assessed for financial viability and on a range of other factors”, Cr Drylie said.

“While at this point, we don’t see a clear purpose for retaining The Rex, given the lack of finances to undertake any works at the site, if there is strong community support for using The Rex for a worthwhile and suitable purpose, we may be open to exploring alternate ideas, but they would need to be assessed for financial viability and on a range of other factors.

“It is important to note that council will not revive the Hepburn Hub at The Rex project as it is outside the scope of what we can consider now. We understand the disappointment that many people in the community will be feeling now that we are beginning the sale process for The Rex. However, it is important that we focus our energies on the next steps which is in part to undertake a planning project that will review possible solutions of staffing accommodation and community facilities that were to be included in the Hepburn Hub.”

Council is inviting individuals and community groups to complete a short survey regarding the intended sale of The Rex building. Community groups are encouraged to discuss the proposed sale with their members.  Council is not seeking detailed submissions or business cases. 

More information on the survey and the discussion paper are available on the council’s Participate Hepburn website.

Complete a short survey via Participate Hepburn at https://participate.hepburn.vic.gov.au/.  

Submissions can be made until 5pm on Friday, May 20.

The release said it was expected the council will make a decision on the sale of the building in June or July.

The council purchased the building in 2016 to accommodate a new library, council offices, public toilets, community auditorium and community co-working space, known as the Hepburn Hub project. 

Words: Donna Kelly



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