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Legislative Assembly Committee puts the kibosh on the Fitters Workshop refit plans

By kepayne - 16 April 2012 5

When the government pledged $3.8 million for a capital works project in conjunction with the earlier decision to move Megalo Print Studio to the Fitters’ Workshop, they probably weren’t expecting the backlash they received.

The Standard Committee on Education, Training and Youth Affairs have just published a report about, as the title plainly states, ‘Future Use of the Fitters’ Workshop, Kingston’.

The Committee has five recommendations, including that the Fitters’ Workshop be used for performance and multi-arts, that they suspend the decision to move Megalo to the Fitters’ Workshop, that they find an alternative site at the Kingston Arts Precinct for a purpose-built building in which to house Megalo Print Studios, and that they use the funding that they would have used to convert the Fitters’ Workshop for this. My favourite is the recommendation that the government responds to their recommendations within 1-30 days.

While reports from outside entities did say this in its current state it is a good venue for choral performances, I can’t see much use in having a music venue that isn’t at all versatile.

“I have discussed the acoustics with many of my colleagues at the School of Music and there are as many ratings as there are respondents. While it may be seen as a fine acoustic by choral groups the weight of opinion expressed to me by instrumentalists who had performed there was that it was an extremely difficult acoustic space in which to work.”- Mr Jim Cotter of the ANU School of Music.

As well as this, it has to be remembered that the room is currently empty. Adding in comfortable seats and an audience, as the bare minimum, would undoubtedly change the acoustics.

It seems a bit unfair on the part of the Committee to be making these asks at the expense of the Megalo Print Studio, simply so that we can have another performance venue that is predominantly used for the sale of carpets.

What’s Your opinion?


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5 Responses to
Legislative Assembly Committee puts the kibosh on the Fitters Workshop refit plans
c_c 9:35 pm 16 Apr 12

Excellent, Megalo can go to where the belong, their existing workshop. Greedy, arrogant and disingenuous bunch.

dungfungus 9:16 pm 16 Apr 12

Jerry Atric said :

What Canberra HASN’T got is a space usable for small music groups (trios quartets etc). The School of music auditorium is far too big for these. Also the the Fitters workshop could be used for other intimate performance (monologues, vocal etc.) without the need for amplification. Add to this exhibitions (including print) and a venue for art openings and it seems to me that it would fulfill a current need for Canberra.

PS: What happened to the Lyric Theatre we were promised decades ago?

What about the Belconnen Arts Cente and the Two auditoriums at the Wesley Centre in Forrest?

I-filed 8:27 pm 16 Apr 12

Hooray! That’s great news. Megalo works with toxic fumes and needs an industrial setup – Fitters Workshop is far too pretty to waste on Megalo. Plus, their attitude all the way through this debacle has been like a bunch of grunting hulks on steroids. They absolutely deserve to be disappointed.

taninaus 7:08 pm 16 Apr 12

Also how are the proponents of the great sound space going to pay sufficient rental to enable the Government to maintain and run this facility – it is all well and good to say it is a great performance space but whyt should my tax dollars subsidise this when there are plenty of other spaces in Canberra that support this sort of arts activity. All care and no responsibility can only go so far.

Jerry Atric 1:45 pm 16 Apr 12

What Canberra HASN’T got is a space usable for small music groups (trios quartets etc). The School of music auditorium is far too big for these. Also the the Fitters workshop could be used for other intimate performance (monologues, vocal etc.) without the need for amplification. Add to this exhibitions (including print) and a venue for art openings and it seems to me that it would fulfill a current need for Canberra.

PS: What happened to the Lyric Theatre we were promised decades ago?

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