Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Lifestyle

We mean business
Contact us today to get results

The McGregor Hall closeout as it happened

By johnboy - 2 August 2010 17

[First filed: Aug 2, 2010 @ 9:47]

“qedbynature” has posted the above video of the shutdown at McGregor hall.

Bearing in mind this came the day after the ACT Heritage Council and the ABC’s Stateline showed an interest in the building, and after many decades of use with just a month of further operation planned I leave it to the viewer to draw further conclusions.

UPDATE: Holden Caulfield has sent in this pic of the tape and warning notices now surrounding the hall:

mcgregor hall

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
17 Responses to
The McGregor Hall closeout as it happened
qedbynature 4:11 pm 03 Aug 10

Contrary to what troll-sniffer implies the DA still has to be approved. Objections can still be lodged with the Land and Planning Authority.

troll-sniffer 2:43 pm 03 Aug 10

JessicaNumber said :

Well then I guess we all eagerly await the results of the Heritage Council and eventually the site will either need to be repaired and maintained or it can be safely demolished and sold.

I’m hoping for repaired and maintained, it’s a genuine community hall and goodness knows that Canberra could use a few more “Community Halls” to fill in that huge community arts gap between the art galleries, nightclubs and church halls, none of which are appropriate venues for the noisier cultural events.

I think you’ll find that the site is a key component in the overall plan for CityEdge (or whatever the ANU/City amalagamation zone is called) and as the overall plan has been approved, and is well underway, the heritage component of a small temporary structure that has so far managed to stand the test of time will be about as big a factor in the life of Canberra as your last swim at the beach had on future of the Pacific Ocean.

JessicaNumber 12:23 pm 03 Aug 10

Well then I guess we all eagerly await the results of the Heritage Council and eventually the site will either need to be repaired and maintained or it can be safely demolished and sold.

I’m hoping for repaired and maintained, it’s a genuine community hall and goodness knows that Canberra could use a few more “Community Halls” to fill in that huge community arts gap between the art galleries, nightclubs and church halls, none of which are appropriate venues for the noisier cultural events.

qedbynature 9:42 am 03 Aug 10

According to Joy Burch’s Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services there was a pre-demolition inspection done by a private firm (routine prior to the demolition of any building) which identified some health/safety concerns, including a low risk relating to existing asbestos that was no longer safely contained. At the time of a routine inspection done a few months ago (presumably by DHCS) these risks were not present. The consultant brought these new concerns to DHCS’s attention and DHCS acted on them immediately, going in with the EPA which said the site needed to be shut down immediately.

peterepete 7:23 pm 02 Aug 10

If its dangerous it should go. Did they (1) keep it open knowing it was dangerous or (2) did its danger only become apparent when heritage listing seemed likely? There are only two options and the paper-trail will probably show.

Waiting For Godot 5:33 pm 02 Aug 10

basketcase said :

The last few seconds of that movie said it all, pan from the new developments to the hall.

Asbestos, your joking.

It seems that whenever a building is about to be knocked down against the public’s wishes the asbestos excuse is always rolled out. Witness the outcry over the construction of Fox Studios on the old Sydney Showground site at Moore Park in the 1990s. All of a sudden Murdoch’s newspapers were full of stories about how the old Showground had to go because the buildings were riddled with asbestos. It’s a bit like how the greenies suddenly discover spotty-nosed whatevers on greenfields sites whenever a new development is proposed.

basketcase 4:59 pm 02 Aug 10

The last few seconds of that movie said it all, pan from the new developments to the hall.

Asbestos, your joking.

Proudof Canberra 12:53 pm 02 Aug 10

Lots of things here. Nobody had any answers they were being extremely evasive. One interesting comment was “ït will never be open again” now how can they make a statement like that if they were so uncertain about everything else?

If the building is a health and safety risk to people using it then it must also be a health and safety risk to builders.If we can’t go near it then neither can they.

They also have to make the building safe before they can demolish it. If it is as dangerous as they say then outright demolition would contaminate the whole area.

This is an example I found:

An asbestos-containing building that is to be torn down may have to be sealed (see third picture on right), and to have its asbestos safely removed before ordinary demolition can be performed. The asbestos removal may take longer and cost more than the actual demolition. For example, the former seat of parliament of East Germany, the Palast der Republik, was stripped of most of its asbestos between 1998 and 2001, before it was finally demolished starting in 2006.

Chupachup 12:08 pm 02 Aug 10

Ok I can’t view vids at my work so I’m commenting blind on that aspect.

I have been a user of McGregor Hall twice a week for about three years now (as a dancer with Jumptown Swing). I know that the people looking after the hall have know about the asbestos, it’s been undisturbed and not a risk – if it was a risk they would not have let anyone use it.

I don’t know all the details but I know they have had regular checks on the asbestos including one sometime last year and until now it’s been deemed fit for use.

I just hope that it’s all being looked at objectively and their not just there trying to find problems – or making them sound worse than they are to support the developers.

I love this hall – it’s one of the best dance floors in Canberra and has a vibe second to none, it’s the only building of its kind in the city and very important for the community. Fingers crossed that with the community support for McGregor that they’ll do the right thing and decide to keep it

JessicaNumber 11:50 am 02 Aug 10

troll-sniffer said :

I think you will find that the chances of the building as it it stands has been a hotbed of loose asbestos fibres very unlikely.

Unless of course there have been authorised or unauthorised tampering with the building thereby rendering previously safe panels as unsafe…

Or if the paint has flaked or a panel has come loose or running water has corroded something or a wall was scratched.

That’s why there has to be regular inspections – because previously safe panels can become unsafe over time with ordinary wear and tear. The existence of asbestos is not in itself a reason to close a building, only the existence of unsafe asbestos can do that. We are told that there is unsafe asbestos in the building and it must be closed immediately; that asbestos must surely have been unsafe for some time.

troll-sniffer 10:51 am 02 Aug 10

JessicaNumber said :

How long has it been since the previous asbestos inspection? In my involvement with a community organisation that owns a building we’ve been legally required to have an asbestos management plan. Regular inspections must be carried out every 2 years if I recall correctly.

I find it extremely unimpressive that the DHCS were happy to expose musicians, dancers, other artists and their audiences to any number of unknown health risks for the duration that McGregor Hall has been in community use. Yet now that its demolition is imminent and the building’s status is awaiting results from a heritage list application, asbestos has been found as part of “due process” for sale/demolition.

Why didn’t DHCS care about our health and safety a few years ago? A few months ago? Why don’t they care now and why has it taken a land sale and demolition to motivate them to find out whether there is anything dangerous in the building?

At least I don’t have to ask why I’m so angry. I know exactly why I’m furious. Innocent people attend events at McGregor Hall and even bring babies; it’s owned by the government and they expect it to be as safe as any public service office building. It wasn’t.

Jumping up and down all over the asbestos bandwagon eh Jessica?

Asbestos materials, per se, in a painted and undisturbed state, do not of themselves pose any significant risk. During demolition etc, when the materials are broken up, the fibres that can be released are what need to be controlled. It’s quite probable that the ANU Exchange mob have elected to judge the presence of asbestos in the building to be a convenient reason to justify bringing forward the closure, and there may well be sound reasons for doing so, public liability vs the scum lawyer brigades might be one, but I think you will find that the chances of the building as it it stands has been a hotbed of loose asbestos fibres very unlikely.

Unless of course there have been authorised or unauthorised tampering with the building thereby rendering previously safe panels as unsafe…

JessicaNumber 10:18 am 02 Aug 10

How long has it been since the previous asbestos inspection? In my involvement with a community organisation that owns a building we’ve been legally required to have an asbestos management plan. Regular inspections must be carried out every 2 years if I recall correctly.

I find it extremely unimpressive that the DHCS were happy to expose musicians, dancers, other artists and their audiences to any number of unknown health risks for the duration that McGregor Hall has been in community use. Yet now that its demolition is imminent and the building’s status is awaiting results from a heritage list application, asbestos has been found as part of “due process” for sale/demolition.

Why didn’t DHCS care about our health and safety a few years ago? A few months ago? Why don’t they care now and why has it taken a land sale and demolition to motivate them to find out whether there is anything dangerous in the building?

At least I don’t have to ask why I’m so angry. I know exactly why I’m furious. Innocent people attend events at McGregor Hall and even bring babies; it’s owned by the government and they expect it to be as safe as any public service office building. It wasn’t.

Thumper 10:15 am 02 Aug 10

They certainly didn’t muck around.

Pandy 9:54 am 02 Aug 10

Stanhope, you are a heartless bastard, ripping the soul out of Canberra!!

johnboy 9:54 am 02 Aug 10

Personally I’m thrilled for DHCS that, when faced with a tricky political situation, they were able to find an old mate in the EPA.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site