3 October 2023, Mayor Cr Grace La Vella- The Maryborough Advertiser


The glue to a vibrant and strong community is its heart and soul: the connections, the releasing of pride and passion. It’s not only the fundamental infrastructure such as key major supermarkets of which we have four, major eateries and an amazing retail precinct, but we also require strong social infrastructure. This takes determination, thinking outside the box without apprehension, and the courage to make difficult decisions.

Tuesday night we held our September General Council Meeting where we covered a great many important recommendations which Councillors proudly endorsed.

One of the items was a “Notice of Motion” which I believe was the most important to our Shire as a whole; see the recording of the Council Meeting on Council’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/100064469058755/videos/856030735896873 (time in at 48.36 mins).

This “Notice of Motion” highlighted the importance of restoring our Historic Maryborough Town Hall which was sadly closed over three years ago due to electrical safety concerns, notwithstanding much required reparation and restorative works as the building is in a state of decline due to neglect over a number of years.

A Town Hall which brought connectedness, the social fabric of our community of all age demographics through dance performances, stage shows, art exhibitions, performing arts, annual balls, community dinner dances, forums, fashion parades, blue light disco’s, dance classes… not withstanding a meeting place for community groups both locally and regionally…so many uses I haven’t even touched on, and so many more uses today we can embrace within the walls of this magnificent structure.

I suspect you will be thinking, where do we get the money to bring the Hall back to its former glory? Courageous financial planning! We do this when our homes start to deteriorate and require maintenance or upgrading. However this is not a private home, this stunning structure is the home of the whole of the community and the restoration costs are significant.

How do we do this with a small rate base? And no guarantee of being awarded much deserved grants given the competitive market and tighter state budgets? Notwithstanding escalating costs!

The Maryborough Town Hall is one of our key priority projects and one of two in my mind: the other is the outstanding unique Princess Park Grandstand requiring a great deal of funding and we must be able to find the right flow of funding sources to flood our Town Hall with new blood, restoring it back to life. We continue to explore all available options to this end.

I see us as the “pumping heart of Victoria” and if we don’t look after our heart (Maryborough) it dies…after that the organs (our connected townships and communities) would slowly but surely die also…”

Grace La Vella – Mayor

/Public Release. View in full here.