CBD at risk of being left behind, Commerce Warrnambool president warns

WARRNAMBOOL risks being left behind if the CBD is not renewed, according to Commerce Warrnambool president Tony Herbert.

Warrnambool residents have been encouraged to have their say on how to update Liebig Street and the CBD.

Warrnambool residents have been encouraged to have their say on how to update Liebig Street and the CBD.

“As residents we will need to be open to change, because change must happen,” he told The Standard.

“All over Victoria regional cities are spending tens of millions of dollars on their city centres — Wodonga $40m and Ballarat $44m on their CBD. 

“We need to take up the challenge or be left behind.”

As a member of the streetscape renewal steering committee Mr Herbert believes now is the chance of a lifetime for community members to have their say.

He said discussion forums starting next week were a crucial stage to enact a renewal vision which started several years ago with preparation of a city council structure plan.

“This is taking the overall structure plan off the shelf, using its guidelines and actually designing something for construction,” he said.

“We are now at the business end of the project.

“Warrnambool’s expected growth is one of the highest of any regional city in the country. It’s imperative we recognise this, “talk it up”, attend city forums, be involved, do what we can and work together.

“Make your mark on the city heart.”

A shopfront in the former ANZ Bank premises will open from Monday for people to drop in ahead of two discussion workshops on May 20 in the Uniting Church hall and release of mock-up plans the following day by an archictectural company contracted to produce a blueprint plan.  “Some residents may think we should retain four lanes of traffic, while others believe it should be two lanes,” Mr Herbert said. “This design firm will present reasons for and against and could lead us to explore alternative parking options, city square spaces, outdoor dining, better street and decorative lighting options etc.” 

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