BANKS RESERVE users have succeeded in saving the park’s pavilion, for now.
Vincent council decided back in March 2019 to replace the pavilion with a partially covered plaza as part of the Banks Reserve Masterplan.
During public consultation at the time some users said the pavilion should stay as the area doesn’t have many community halls.
But the council’s rationale for demolition said parts of the building were “rapidly nearing end of life” and it did not meet current accessibility standards. It cost $35,000 to maintain per year and would need $500,000 to bring it up to a “reasonable, compliant standard”.
Community usage was pretty low with an occupancy rate of 8 per cent, with the other major user being a privately run childcare centre which had its lease expire in mid-2019.
Now as the demolition date draws near and construction fencing has popped up around the building, a campaign’s started to “Save Banks Reserve Pavilion”.
Yoga instructor Wendy Herring signed the anti-demolition petition: “I taught yoga at Banks for two years prior do closure during Covid,” she said.
“I am not teaching anywhere now.
“I had a core group that I taught for eight years in Mount Lawley.
“I have lost my community.”
Ms Herring and about 40 locals attended a meeting with mayor Emma Cole at Banks Reserve on May 1 to protest the plan.
Ms Cole told the Voice: “We are taking on board the feedback that was provided on Saturday… and we won’t be demolishing the building until we’ve looked at what the options might be and what the costs would be.”
Options include maintaining the building, keeping a part of it, or redesigning the plaza plan to include an indoor-space.
Ms Cole said, given the costs involved, “if we were to provide a community facility, we’d want to know the community actually uses it”, noting the historically low community occupancy rates of the building.
In the meantime small works will go ahead to pull out some asbestos.
by DAVID BELL