Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Hansard 2008-04-09 Hepburn Springs Bathhouse

Peter Kavanagh MLC for Western Victoria said that the government was responsible for unnecessarily withholding information about the Hepburn Mineral Bath House.
Mr Kavanagh’s comments in Parliament on Hansard are below:

Date: 9 April 2008
Page: 925

Page 925

Mr KAVANAGH (Western Victoria) -- I rise to make some comments on the motion, which concerns a major development in my electorate. The motion has two limbs. The second limb acknowledges the Hepburn Mineral Springs Bathhouse as an icon of Victoria's regional tourism industry and, in particular, acknowledges the importance of the redevelopment to the business community in the Daylesford-Hepburn region. There is nothing controversial about that, and it is obviously true. Further comment is not required beyond that except to emphasise that many businesses in Daylesford and the Hepburn Springs area depend on the bathhouse and its redevelopment.

I have recently discussed the progress of redevelopment with Cr Bill McClenaghan, who is a ward councillor and chair of the Hepburn Shire Council's Bathhouse Business and Community Liaison Group. I have got to know him over the last year or so. In my opinion he is fair-minded; he is a straight talker, a man of sound judgement and worthy of respect.

Cr McClenaghan informs me that the bathhouse has taken a lot longer to complete than was expected. He also informs me that the reasons for this are that the builder has been determined to do an excellent job, meeting unexpected challenges in the innovative design of the building, which has required the sourcing of specialised materials, some of which need to be specifically manufactured for the project; and this was referred to by Mr Theophanous yesterday and by Ms Tierney a little earlier today. The result is very beautiful. The fastidiousness of the builder has paid off in what is obviously a high-quality building that is innovative and extremely attractive.

There is widespread concern about the detrimental effects that the delays have had on businesses in the Daylesford-Hepburn Springs area. Cr McClenaghan, as chairman of the bathhouse business and community liaison group, does not blame the government for the length of time the development has taken. He is very concerned, however, about the way information about the project has been withheld by Major Projects Victoria. He alleges that up until February-March

Page 926

Major Projects Victoria was extremely reticent about releasing information on the project, and that reticence has needlessly exacerbated the harm done to businesses dependent on the bathhouse in the Hepburn Springs-Daylesford area.

The motion refers to mismanagement. If this refers to the delays in building, then in my opinion, from the information I have, that is a false premise. However, on the understanding I have that Major Projects Victoria has quite needlessly withheld information from the community to the wanton detriment of local businesses, I will support the motion.

I understand the lessee has not yet been announced. The government needs to do this as quickly as possible, because other businesses are dependent on knowing when the bathhouse will be up and running in order to take bookings for their own businesses, for example. The bathhouse will be beautiful.

More importantly it and ancillary businesses will generate and contribute to the prosperity of this beautiful part of Victoria.


Peter Kavanagh MLC
Member for Western Victoria
Parliament of Victoria

"La Cabine"
2nd Floor
1 Yarra Street
Geelong VIC 3220

Ph: 03 5222 1503
Fax: 03 5222 8677

Email: peter.kavanagh@parliament.vic.gov.au
Blog: http://peterkavanagh.blogspot.com/
Site: http://www.dlpwestvic.org/

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