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Defying Empire commemorates the 50th anniversary of 1967 Referendum

Sacred cows clash over the fitters’ workshop at Kingston.

By johnboy - 14 July 2009 14

Congratulations to the Liberals’ Vicki Dunne for producing one of the least comprehensible openings to a media release I’ve seen amongst many thousands:

    The diversity of public view on the future of the fitters’ workshop should be a neon signal to the Stanhope-Gallagher government that there should be a process of public consultation, according to Shadow Arts Minister, Vicki Dunne.

    “Whilst the government is right on track with its plan to incorporate the fitters’ workshop into the Kingston Foreshores art precinct, we have once again turned down the road of public confusion and lack of consultation,” said Mrs Dunne.

If you haven’t been keeping up, the “Kingston Foreshores art precinct” is apparently the bus depot markets and the glassworks.

Somewhere down there is an old workshop used by fitters.

Someone in the burgeoning ACT arts bureaucracy decided it would be a good space to give over to a group of print makers.

If we’re going to hand over government assets for people to run their arts businesses then this is par for the course.

But then it all got sticky when the composer Peter Sculthorpe decided he had a better idea. This from Vicki:

    “My question is, has Jon Stanhope listened to people like Peter Sculthorpe, Australia’s patriarch of music-making, who says the fitters’ workshop has the best acoustics for classical music in Australia. That’s a big call, but it comes from someone whose views simply cannot be ignored.

Vicki wants a wider section of the arts sector consulted about how these assets are disbursed.

One suspects broad agreement in the arts community on the carve up of assets will be reached around the time we drive our flying cars to Kingston to see the first maglev train pull into the station.

One would also like to know why only the arts groups get to divvy up the goodies?

In any event, we’d rather see someone make a decision and follow it through than have to watch the luvvies fight over it interminably.

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
Sacred cows clash over the fitters’ workshop at Kingston.
poptop 8:36 am 17 Jul 09

Can we ask Mr Sculthorpe to rate the accoustics of our shed against international music spaces, d’you think? I’d vote for an arts grant like that!

Mind you, I have followed up with intensive research (less than a minute on Google) and quality sites such as Biz Tradeshows claims:

Sydney Opera House:
Situated on Sydney harbor at Bennelong Point, this intriguing white-sailed landmark is unique both architecturally and culturally. A factor further adding to its distinctiveness is that unlike other famous specimens say Taj Mahal or Great Pyramids, the Opera House is a fully functional performing arts center in constant use.

This full-scale performing-arts complex houses five major performance spaces including the Concert Hall, which is the biggest and grandest with best acoustics in world while the Opera Theatre is smaller accompanied by the Drama Theatre, the Playhouse, the Boardwalk and much more.

Acoustically, we have the best performance space IN THE WORLD! Huzzah!

Grrrr 11:19 am 16 Jul 09

Poptop – they’re probably feeling just like the guy with a pair of $3000 bookshelf speakers plugged into a $3000 stereo-only amp and some esoteric $2000 CD player, when he hears the guy with $8000 worth of subwoofers in his car saying his car has the “best stereo ever.”

Lots of people think classical music pretty much sounds good anywhere that echos. Church halls are particularly popular. Someone with a more practical view of acoustics will tell you that the best listening room ideally has ZERO sonic reflections – that reflections cause resonances at certain freqencies (based on room geometry) and that an uneven frequency response is undesirable.

I’m curious to know whether music has been performed there – either whilst being recorded, or for a live audience. The acoustics of a room will change greatly when you stuff a couple of hundred chairs and bodies into it ..

Peewee Slasher 10:22 am 15 Jul 09

Poptop. You cracked me up.

johnboy 9:02 am 15 Jul 09

poptop said :

I’m wondering how the management for all those purpose-built classical music spaces are feeling now they know their accoustics are worse than some shed in Canberra.

Suck it up Sydney Opera House!

Eat our dust Melbourne Arts Centre!

The acoustics of modern performance spaces have been an ongoing source of embarrassment to architecture.

poptop 8:26 am 15 Jul 09

I’m wondering how the management for all those purpose-built classical music spaces are feeling now they know their accoustics are worse than some shed in Canberra.

Suck it up Sydney Opera House!

Eat our dust Melbourne Arts Centre!

GardeningGirl 7:29 pm 14 Jul 09

wishuwell said :

Having served my apprenticeship at various workshops along the strip I would like to see some kind of working museum to the many trades that helped to build and maintain Canberra from the very early days. Would be a shame if another part of this city’s history and heritage was lost forever to some kind of populist pursuit.

I really like that idea.

Granny 5:34 pm 14 Jul 09

Well, I have no position except that consultation is important, particularly with the arts community, but due consideration should also be given to the fact that the print people have been offered the premises.

I mean just because the Lodge, or Parliament House or the taxation department may have brilliant acoustics is not necessarily a reason to turn it into the Canberra Opera House. I would be a tad annoyed if I was the print dudes, and someone suddenly came along coveting my workshop and wanted to nick it.

However, if a replacement could be found to the satisfaction of all concerned that would probably be the best outcome.

wishuwell 4:12 pm 14 Jul 09

Granny, my understanding is that the acoustics would be severly altered if there was machinery work benches etc there on a permanent basis and also once installed the logistics of emptying the space for concert use would be massive and would never happen.The only way to keep it for music would be keep it forever empty.

amarooresident2 4:08 pm 14 Jul 09

Who’s the other sacred cow apart from vicki dunne?

Granny 3:46 pm 14 Jul 09

Why can’t they share?

wishuwell 12:57 pm 14 Jul 09

Having served my apprenticeship at various workshops along the strip I would like to see some kind of working museum to the many trades that helped to build and maintain Canberra from the very early days. Would be a shame if another part of this city’s history and heritage was lost forever to some kind of populist pursuit.

Izzyduck 12:47 pm 14 Jul 09

The LDA has appointed May & Russell Architects to do a scoping study, so presumably there will be some consultation.

phototext 12:39 pm 14 Jul 09

“One would also like to know why only the arts groups get to divvy up the goodies?”

I’m guessing so that the area can be marketed as an arts/ crafts precinct to the tourists.

astrojax 12:36 pm 14 Jul 09

if there is a paucity of public consultation, how can ms dunne know of the alleged diversity of opinion?

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