A new concept has been put forward to solve the issue of what to do with the Campbell Town Hall after Northern Midlands Council decided to sell it.
At their council meeting on May 17, Northern Midlands Council carried a motion which noted the objections received but determine to sell the town hall and notify the objectifying parties within seven days.
Artist Kim Peart has devised a new project which would see the facility reformed into a new regional art gallery.
Mr Peart feels Campbell Town's location between Hobart and Launceston and the lack of a public gallery in the Northern Midlands makes it an ideal solution.
"I [was] thinking how could you keep the building in public hands and then it struck me, I'd been thinking about an art gallery ... you could have a regional and rural gallery that could be launched in that hall that could work," he said.
"You've got a model with ten days on the island and that model shows how you can present art exhibitions anywhere on the island so you could have a central gallery that could provide an arts service to rural communities."
IN OTHER NEWS:
While Mr Peart believes the idea could be good in Campbell Town, he is adamant the idea could work elsewhere if the town hall is not an option.
Mr Peart is also part of a group which wants to look into whether the town hall would be eligible for heritage listing.
The facility is currently not listed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register which would afford it certain protections and it is understood that the building has never been looked at for heritage status.
"The building is not heritage listed and it really should be looked into to see if it is worthy of heritage listing. I believe that it is," he said.
In order to enable the community to discuss ideas for the town hall and the merits of pursuing heritage status for the building a community meeting has been organised by Mr Peart.
He used the example of the Climar House in Campbell Town, designed by Marjorie Bligh in the 1950s which has heritage listing, as an example of why the town hall listing should be considered.
If we could get interest, we could put the town hall to work while keeping it in public handsKim Peart
The debate about what to do with the facility has been a long standing issue for both council and the community.
In the discussion at the May 17 meeting, Cr Michael Polley said the decision was in best interests of the town.
"I believe that long term it's best for the town, particularly for employment. We already know there's been interest expressed around the community about different things to use it for, mainly commercial things, and I think it's an ideal opportunity," he said.
A petition has received 344 signatures as a show of community support to save the town hall and was one of the reasons Cr Janet Lambert opted to vote against the motion.
"I know this is a situation that a lot of councils and communities are going to face over time, but I think, with that amount of concern in the town, I'm not sure I can support the sale of the town hall," she said at the meeting.
Mr Peart said he would like the opportunity to discuss the concept with Northern Midlands Council in the future.
"The aim would be to bring together the most amazing collect of art, and inspire amazing art being made across Tasmania," he said.
"They want to sell it and get it off their hands, I suggest to the council let's talk about this [proposal].
"Let's talk about how we could get this project to come together ... and look at how we could have this hall to be of benefit to all Tasmanians and visitors to the island."
The meeting will be held on Sunday June 6 at the Campbell Town town hall but numbers are limited to 78.
Anyone wanting to attend should contact Kim Peart at email@example.com.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor: