IT’S action time for breathing new life into Warrnambool’s once-dominant Liebig Street, which has slipped into a tired, shabby shadow of its former glory.
Residents and visitors will have the chance this month to pitch their ideas for giving the section between Raglan Parade and Koroit Street potentially its biggest facelift since the 1800s.
That will set a template for revitalising other sections of the central business district.
“It’s now or never,” said city renewal manager Tanya Egan, who has helped co-ordinate moves for the past six years towards reshaping the CBD and an overall structure plan.
“Everything is up for discussion as long as it fits in with our overall theme of making the CBD alive, thriving and culturally rich.
“City centre renewal is number-one priority for the city council and we want the community to tell us how we can make it happen soon.
“We aim to have a blueprint plan ready by September to take to the state government for funding and start a roll-out next year.”
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Yesterday the council announced the appointment of Outlines Landscape Architecture as the contract company to help glean community ideas and collate the blueprint.
The council will open a shopfront in the former ANZ Bank premises from May 12 for three weeks for passers-by to discuss the proposal, submit ideas and register for two discussion workshops on May 20. Then on May 21 a mock-up concept plan summarising ideas will be put for community discussion again before a more refined blueprint is collated for further public scrutiny and then reviewed by state government architects.
“We want to know if people think Liebig Street should be changed, what they consider works now and doesn’t work and their ideas on how it can be improved,” Ms Egan said.
“Liebig Street is Warrnambool’s centrepiece and there should be a sense of pride.
“Unfortunately it’s looking tired and doesn’t have a 21st century image.
“We are falling behind other regional centres of Bendigo, Geelong, Ballarat and Wodonga which have embarked on modernisation. If Warrnambool sees itself as the capital of the Great Ocean Road region, we need to consider how we can present it better.”
The Melbourne-based Outlines company has a landscape architect, architect, urban designer and a lighting specialist in its team.
It has carried out comparable revitalisation work in Broadmeadows and Northcote and is undertaking a project in Hepburn Shire.
The state government gave Warrnambool City $90,000 for consultation and produce a working plan for the section of Liebig Street.