Following the decision to close the Visitor Information Centre within the Geeveston Town Hall, the Huon Valley Council is undertaking community engagement on the future use of the Geeveston Town Hall.
The engagement aims to:
- Check in with the community regarding the 2015 vision for the Geeveston Town Hall and find out if the community still agrees with this vision;
- Facilitate discussions with the community about the management structure of the Geeveston Town Hall;
- Re-imagine the vacant spaces within the Geeveston Town Hall; and
- Facilitate discussions with the community about how the Geeveston Town Hall can become not only a tourist destination but also a vibrant community hub.
A public exhibition is now open for feedback. The exhibition discusses the results of the community survey and workshops, and identifies potential actions for the future use of the Geeveston Town Hall, including its management model, key uses, and the possibility of installing a lift.
In 2015, following consultation with the community by Summit Strategy, the vision behind the Geeveston Town Hall model was as follows:
To regenerate the strategic purpose and use of the Geeveston Town Hall as a building of regional significance, that will be sustainably run as a community asset, to create a balance of economic and community value that is sympathetic and respectful of the region’s history and its natural competitive strengths and inspires a future of collaboration and industry diversity.
The Geeveston Town Hall Company (GTHCo) was established in 2016 following extensive community engagement and entered into a lease agreement with Huon Valley Council for the Town Hall. The Board has successfully leased areas within the Hall to a number of tenants. The Council’s Visitor Centre has also occupied space within the Hall. The Board has leased areas to local artists who exhibit within the main hall and the local history group (upstairs) for exhibitions, and allows community groups to utilise the main hall area for meetings.
The Board has established the very popular Twilight Feast which occurs on the first Thursday evening of each month and is a major funding event for GTHCo.
In 2019, following the February Council meeting it was resolved that a review of the management structure of the GTHCo be undertaken. The management structure review was being considered taking into account the review being undertaken of the Visitor Centres operated by Council.
At the April 2020 Council meeting, Council made the decision to withdraw the Visitor Information Services from the Geeveston Town Hall. As the GTHCo’s tenants rely on the operation of the Visitor Centre as their retail arm of their activities within the Hall, the GTHCo Board is actively seeking an alternative solution to continue the provision of retail services at the Geeveston Town Hall. This is happening while Council undertakes engagement with the community on the future use and management of the Geeveston Town Hall.
The Council will openly consult with the community and stakeholders at the Collaborate level. This level is identified in the Council’s Community Engagement Framework 19.017/18* and aims to:
Work with the public throughout the process to ensure that concerns and aspirations are consistently understood and considered.
The Council is seeking the community’s input and desires for the future management and vision for the Geeveston Town Hall. Council will team up with SGS Economics & Planning to engage with the community on all aspects of the Town Hall. All community views are welcome and encouraged. On conclusion of the engagement, the Project Team will analyse the community feedback and recommend to Council a response.
This engagement will involve a number of steps to enable Council to collaborate with the community along the way.
This process will involve:
- Survey – the survey will be open for 4 weeks, with feedback prepared for the community workshops.
- Community workshops – SGS will facilitate interactive community workshops where the survey results will be presented.
- Public exhibition – present the findings from the first survey and workshops to the community and engage the community on the themes and proposed actions.
- Council Workshop – Councillors will be presented with the engagement findings and draft recommendations.
- Council Meeting – a Council Report will be presented at a Council Meeting with the final recommendations.