Open Letter to Residents - Ravensthorpe Cultural Precinct and 3D Fly-through of Project

Published on Thursday, 1 April 2021 at 8:30:40 AM

Open Letter to Residents.

Cultural Precinct Project Update

Thank you for all the comments received, both positive and questioning. It’s good to know there are so many community members contributing and interested in their town, its streetscape and the maintenance of its new and existing infrastructure. Two way communication and transparency is definitely valued. Having said that, I will attempt to answer some of the questions and concerns put forward so your comments can hopefully be closed out.

Maintenance

Some member of the community seem concerned about maintenance and the cost of upkeep. Be assured that the maintenance on the end-of-life, non-compliant, asbestos riddled, and dislocated buildings that this project will be replacing, was a far greater cost for the community than the new precinct buildings will be. It has been designed not only to the high energy efficiency standards of the current National Construction Code, but the timber design and additional sustainability items have been specifically included for the lowering of maintenance costs. Maintenance is also about safety, accessibility and comfort, which this building will vastly improve.

The old faded wooden box

Yes, this is a timber construction and clad building, with low maintenance decisions including letting it age as it naturally gains character as it weathers. This is called patina, a natural aging process. It is nice to think that not everything in this world needs to be puffed up, forever shiny and plastic. The idea is that it will align with the environment, and promote our natural attractions of a rural region located in a pretty extraordinary Biosphere. The yellow stringy bark by the way was harvested from a plantation in Western Australia that was originally grown to be used as power poles. And yes, I suppose it is a wooden box of sorts, but it is an architecturally designed wooden box that will provide great space for the all the community members and groups who will, or want, to use it. Please see the attached photos of the first stage of the milled timber resting before being cut to size and grade.

Money Spent on power and community contributions

The grant funding had very restricted eligibility criteria. Money could not, for example, be spent on “better power” which is the realm, unfortunately, of Western Power. The reality is, until we can get power source from somewhere or thing else, then we will remain at the end of the grid. As it stands, 75% of the money was given to the Shire by the Federal government under the regime of the funding. The community contributions cover the rest. Whilst support was requested and given by numerous community groups, and was very much the backbone of getting this project off the ground, there was no obligation to provide a contribution, no one had to pass on anything.

Community Consultation

Whilst I am new to the area, having been involved with the project for almost 18 months, it appears that this project has really been in the pipeline since 2013. The opportunity was presented to run with it, and after numerous surveys and meetings and community gatherings, the project was given the green light by your Councillors for myself to act very quickly given the funding deadline.

I would just like to make the comment that it is the people within the community and not the buildings that make a town. Whilst we hope to start the process of activation, it will be the enthusiasm of the people and the attitudes and realisation that this is a great part of the world to live and be proud of, that will help our Shire to grow.

 3D Fly-Through

We are excited to be able to provide a Ravensthorpe Cultural Precinct 3D Walk-Through of the Project https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTzA5i5stSo

Gavin Pollock
Chief Executive Officer

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