July 3rd, 2022Hepburn Matters
HEPBURN Matters, a community advocacy group, was launched at the Daylesford Town Hall on June 22 in front of more than 100 people.
The evening started with a performance by Lyall Brooks of A Prudent Man, a production by local theatre production company, Lab Kelpie, under the leadership of Adam Fawcett.
Community stalwart Warren Maloney, pictured, then told the crowd that on hearing the completion of The Rex, a Daylesford-based Hepburn Shire Council hub had been voted against by councillors, “we felt more than lost – we felt hopeless in the face of silent bureaucracy and distant politics”.
“A few of us started to meet and more joined and we began to identify the need to encourage the bureaucracy and the politicians to Rethink the Rex – to realise that closure was not the only outcome, and well may be the least desirable outcome for the future of our community.
Mr Maloney said from those meetings, the need for a new community advocacy group was realised.
“We identified five essential elements that must not be lost in either the re-design or the sale of The Rex Theatre:
“Heritage. We cannot lose the external and internal heritage architectural elements of this 95-year-old iconic building in our main street;
“Cinema. We cannot lose our community cinema – an outstandingly successful and rewarding community asset;
“Community spaces. We cannot accept the loss of the planned and promised spaces that would have allowed showcasing of our art and products, and underpinned community meetings and performances;
“Public toilets. Our community, our visitors, our families, and particularly our aged depended heavily on The Rex public toilets. We were promised their priority in returning; and
“Our library. Neglected for over 25 years, we need to have our library’s future as a prime target of our community assets and community vision and community priorities.”
Words & main image: Donna Kelly