Lundy commits money to Albert Hall

By 13 November 2007 26

In what appears to be a bit of bacon giving, Senator Kate Lundy has revealed that Federal Labor has committed $500,000 towards the restoration of the Albert Hall, according to the ABC online.

Senator Kate Lundy says Labor is recognising the importance of the Albert Hall to Canberra and said, “Once upon a time it was certainly the social and cultural hub of Canberra, as a newly born national capital.”

I think this is an excellent idea as the Albert Hall certainly has significance in the ACT.

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26 Responses to
Lundy commits money to Albert Hall
Cameron 2:23 pm
13 Nov 07

I haven’t been there in nearly a decade, so I simply don’t know: Is it in need of half a million in restoration?

caf 2:44 pm
13 Nov 07


Off the top of my head, the floor needs refurbishment, the ceiling needs a lot of work and the lighting system needs replacement.

blingblingbears 4:25 pm
13 Nov 07

I attended a wedding there earlier in the year. It is such a beautiful old building and it is such a shame they have let it fall this far into disrepair. $500,000 wont nearly be enough to restore it to its full glory. Having said that it was still the perfect venue for this wedding and totally suited the theme (you just hoped that the rest of the guests didnt look too closely at anything or go upstairs where there were safetey hazards everywhere).

captainwhorebags 4:27 pm
13 Nov 07

It’s hard to notice a decaying floor when it’s usually covered with Persian rugs (at crazy prices).

thetruth 5:34 pm
13 Nov 07

Hmmm money for an old building which while sad that it has fallen into disrepair, no one has really missed or more nurses to stop people dying after being left of 4 hours in an emergency department.

Sell Albert Hall to some one that will make the investment in it and give it new life as something new and use the money on people.

caf 6:36 pm
13 Nov 07

Speak for yourself, plenty of us have been waiting for someone to stump up the cash to bring the Albert up to scratch. A one off $500,000 would get, what – 7 nurses for a year? I too think more money should go into health, but it needs to be an order of magnitude more than that.

thetruth 7:49 pm
13 Nov 07

Sell it the private sector can do that sort of stuff quite well – I will take the 7 nurses

Pandy 11:27 pm
13 Nov 07

Piss off thetruth.

Plenty of real people want it saved.

caf 11:35 pm
13 Nov 07

7 – *for a year*. That’s almost the definition of a band-aid solution. At any rate, it’s an irrelevant comparison because this funding ISN’T taking money away from health – it’s quite possible to do both. Playing this game (and it *is* a rhetorical game) lets you denigrate _any_ government project that doesn’t pander to your personal prejudices. For example – “Sure, the GDE will let some people get to/from work faster, but wouldn’t we rather put the money into the hospitals – people are DYING!!!”.

Management of the Hall has, up until recently, been contracted out to the private sector. Turns out that the cost of refurbishing it wouldn’t be recoverable by charging hire rates that the market can bear – so if we want to maintain some of the very little Canberra heritage there is, we’ll have to pay for it out of public funds.

Hey, I’ve got an idea. How about we sell the entire ACT road network to the Macquarie Bank and run it on a payin’ basis. We can put the proceeds into the hospitals and schools!

Pandy 11:44 pm
13 Nov 07

Will I have to one of those etag thingos if macquarie bank takes over the roads?

thetruth 11:45 pm
13 Nov 07

Oh you believe in the socialist dream where you can just print money. The Albert Hall has sat dormant for years (with the occasional carpet sale – what is it going to be – a higher priced bargain store!!!!

Let the private sector invest in it an make it useful again in some new form.

The heritage value can be preserved (like the Hyatt or the Queen Vic in Sydney)

If the Macquarie option happened it would just be a tax – where do you think “public funds” come from – yes a tax.

Taxes are paid by people that make dirty money through oh …. CAPITALISM. Bah Humbug.

Pandy 11:51 pm
13 Nov 07

I have an idea, run the public hospitals down so people no longer use it and then sell them.

Oh who gives a toss for art? Sell the NGA!

And why did the Government invest $30 million in reinventing the Convention Centre? What an aweful waste.

thetruth 11:59 pm
13 Nov 07

Oh get a grip NGA vs Albert Hall
Convention Centre was a fiasco and the Nohope Government has got a lot less value out of its investment.
Run down hospital – I was advocating investing the albert hall pork into hospitals. If it is not nurses (ie recurrent expenditure) I am sure there is a good machine that goes ping that they could buy to save a life or stop a Canberran from having to travel to Sydney.

Anyone from the Health department that could nominate a piece of equipment that could be purchased by Canberra Hospital that costs about $500k and give some details of what it would do for people.

Then someone tell me what $500k would do for Albert Hall

caf 12:22 am
14 Nov 07

You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. The Albert Hall hasn’t lain dormant at all – in fact it is usually booked solid at least 12 months in advance. (I know this, because I work with a non-profit community group that has occaisionally put on events there – and not bloody carpet sales either).

Check out the Petersham Town Hall in Sydney, or the Collingwood Town Hall in Melbourne – the Albert Hall is the only building of similar historical interest in Canberra, and should be refurbished to similar standard.

It’s a public good, and you’ve completely ignored the point that there can be multiple good things that it is worth spending government money on. Simply because “A” is more worthy than “B” in your view does not mean that “B” should not be supported.

thetruth 12:27 am
14 Nov 07


Mælinar 8:01 am
14 Nov 07

So if Albert Hall is booked solid for 12months in advance – how come it’s not making a profit ?

Thumper 8:14 am
14 Nov 07

It doesn’t matter if it runs at a profit. It’s a significant piece of ACT heritage and history and therefore should be kept.

If anything it could be converted like the old Kingston powerhouse but whatever the case, I’d rather see the Albert Hall than some new monstrousity. (Just look out across the lake at the NMA….)

Mælinar 8:18 am
14 Nov 07

It’s a white elephant then.

Thumper 8:31 am
14 Nov 07

Nope. It’s a significant piece of ACT social and cultural history.

We might as well knock down Blundell’s cottage as well, and St Johns School House, maybe Mugga Mugga, oh, and Lanyon, as Lanyon doesn’t make a profit.

Gudgenby Homestead is no longer used so that should be bulldozed as well. What abaout Duntroon House, surely the officer cadets could move to Russell or the new Joint Defence HQ. Flatten it and build a multi story carpark.

But of course, we can already see what has been happening to Tharwa bridge.

In the words of Joni Mitchell, ‘they took paradice and put in a parking lot.’

thetruth 9:11 am
14 Nov 07

Oh get a grip- what about the Queen Vic in Sydney. The cultural heritage is preserved and it became a place that people used in a social context. Residential hertiage like the cottages you point out are completely different contexts.

It was a building that was meant to be used in a social and cultural context – allow it to be bought forward and used like that.

Mælinar 9:13 am
14 Nov 07

If they are heritage listed, then leave well enough alone. It’s time to decide if Albert Hall is either a heritage asset, or a place to get cheap carpets.

Thumper 9:42 am
14 Nov 07

“It was a building that was meant to be used in a social and cultural context – allow it to be bought forward and used like that.”

I totally agree, therefore it needs refurbishment, not redevelopment.

Oh, and I mean ‘paradise’ :)

caf 9:47 am
14 Nov 07

Who said it’s not making a profit? I believe it was, in it’s present state, with very little spent on maintenance. It’s just that it’s unlikely that a refurbishment could be justified in purely economic terms, since the potential increase in hire rates that the market will pay probably wouldn’t cover it.

sepi 11:54 am
14 Nov 07

It is a lovely building, and part of Canberra’s history. I’d like to see it repaired and re-furbed so it can be used into the future.

thetruth 3:26 pm
14 Nov 07

Just to be clear – I am not advocating bulldozing it or diminishing its heritage value.

Piecemeal refurbishment based on what costings in the context of an election would be a total waste of money. Let the old girl transform and be our legacy for future generations.

There are others but the QBV in Sydney is a classic example – i remember when it was a ruin waiting to be demolished and now it is a modern day hub of activity as a shopping complex on a transport hub, or the railway yards at redfern is now a high tech business park.

a $500k refurb will just be a nicer looking version of what it is, it is only turning a profit (if it is) because the asset is being run down (ie no new investment).

LET ALBERT HALL LIVE I say – don’t just put a clean band aid on a festering sore.

Vic Bitterman 8:50 pm
14 Nov 07

They need to invest the $500k in a bulldozer to raze that ugly shitbox of a building to the ground.

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