A PETITION calling for the Port of Port Fairy to rethink its plans for an upgrade of the former wharf building is attracting strong support, petition organiser Fiona Hampson says.
Ms Hampson said she had only put the petition online this week but it had already attracted more than 70 signatures.
She said the former co-op building at King George Square, which has been occupied by the Wisharts at the Wharf restaurant, was “the most important commercial site in Port Fairy and possibly the only site of its kind that will ever be built on the river”.
She said the concept and floor plans proposed for the redevelopment were “underwhelming” and did not “develop this important site to its full potential”.
More consultation with the community needed to be done and the outcomes incorporated into a new design brief for the building, she said.
Ms Hampson said more concept ideas from other architects should be sought to give the community more options about what was built on the landmark site.
She said nearly all domestic buildings on the Moyne River were two-storey and the new building should also be to capitalise on its potential, she said.
The port, which is operated by Moyne Shire, has called a community meeting for Friday, August 8, to get feedback on the plans.
The meeting will be from 7pm at the Port Fairy Community Services Centre.
Baade Harbour architects and council officers will be available to discuss the concept plans and answer queries.
Under the proposed redevelopment, the 1950s brick building that housed the Wisharts at the Wharf restaurant and fish and chips outlet will be demolished and a new building created.
The brick building has been vacant for some time.
Works won’t affect the nearby heritage-listed fishermen’s co-op and old customs shed.
Port chairman and Moyne Shire mayor James Purcell said renovating the present building would be pointless because it was old, had poor drainage and asbestos roofing.
An early cost estimate for a new building is about $2.4 million.
A third of the money is expected to come from the port’s reserves, with the rest expected to come from state government grants but no grants have yet been applied for.