From:                                             Kim Bartley - The Daily Liberal
Date:                                             Wednesday 27 January, 2021
Subject:                                         Media inquiry - Old Dubbo Gaol Heritage Plaza

Story broadcast/published:      Wednesday 3 February, 2021


To whom it may concern,

My inquiry relates to the Old Dubbo Gaol Heritage Plaza project. 

My questions are:

1. Will demolition of buildings mark the start of the project? When will the demolition begin?

2. What will be demolished? Will the old state bank be knocked down? 

3. Does the council own the buildings it plans to knock down?  

4. How long will the demolition work take? Who will do it and what will it cost? 

5. Have tenders been called for the entire project? Or has a contract already been issued? 

6. How much is the project costing and who is paying for it?

7. How long will it take to complete the project?

8. What are the benefits of the project to the city?

RESPONSE – Attributed to Natasha Comber – Director Culture & Economy

The Old Dubbo Gaol Heritage Plaza development is being constructed as part of the $13 million Destination Dubbo: International Ready project that was announced in October 2019.Council has received funding from the NSW Government under its Regional Growth Environment and Tourism Fund to undertake three major developments: the Macquarie Foreshore Event Precinct, the Wiradjuri Tourism Centre and the Old Dubbo Gaol Heritage Plaza. Council is contributing $2.5 million towards Destination Dubbo: International Ready and engaged a local Tourism Product Development Manager who has been working with community, stakeholders and contractors to ensure the creative development and smooth delivery of these significant and exciting projects.

Project budget for the Heritage Plaza project is $5,010,000, with such costs including any acquisition of property to create the community precinct and a major public art installation on the Telstra exchange building behind the clock tower.

Public exhibition of the concept designs will be undertaken in coming weeks. These concept images were developed locally and informed by Council’s Old Dubbo Gaol Redevelopment and Heritage Preservation Strategy which was developed in 2018. The concepts are due to go on public exhibition by the end of February 2021, after being presented to a councillor workshop and future Council meeting. These concepts have been developed to demonstrate to the community how the space can be activated in line with meeting the various social, cultural and economic outcomes Council identified in the funding application.  It is important to note that these are not the final plans and it is expected the community will have a range of great ideas that can be considered in line with project budget, the space and any relevant regulations.

Final design plans for the Plaza will form part of a design and construct tender process. Upon the conclusion of the public exhibition, a tender for applications will open for the design and construction of the project, and qualified businesses registered with VendorPanel will be notified when this process begins.

As part of the project and funding arrangements, Council recently exchanged on 92 Macquarie Street and is currently in negotiations with tenants regarding vacation so project timelines can be finalised.  A tender process for the demolition work will then be undertaken, and again, qualified businesses registered with VendorPanel will be notified when this process begins.

The Plaza will provide the desired exposure for the Old Dubbo Gaol’s gatehouse entrance and Gaol wall as well as the ornate Post Office colonnade and its iconic clock tower, creating a unique civic space in Dubbo’s justice precinct. There is also a significant, First Nations public art installation that is being delivered as part of the project.

The construction of CBD tourism and public space infrastructure will deliver economic growth and support productivity and wellbeing within the Dubbo Region with flow-on effects across the NSW economy. The Destination Dubbo: International Ready project aligns with Council’s long term strategic vision to make our region Australia’s number one inland tourism destination.

It’s hoped the community will be able to enjoy the Old Dubbo Gaol Heritage Plaza by mid-2022.

Last Edited: 09 Feb 2021

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