Powerhouse Place opening a milestone for community to celebrate

Powerhouse Place.jpg

One of the most eagerly anticipated and multi-faceted major projects ever conceived in our region was officially opened today on Mildura’s riverfront.

Victorian Minister for Regional Development Harriet Shing was on hand to officially open the Powerhouse Place with Mildura Mayor Liam Wood today.

The precinct is packed with a host of features and amenities, making it one of the most multifunctional projects of its kind in our region, promising to deliver economic and community well-being benefits for decades to come.

Key features include:

  • Flexible indoor and outdoor event spaces
  • Transformation of the former Powerhouse basement space into a new purpose-built venue
  • Visitor interpretative and inspiration spaces
  • Events kitchen
  • Large outdoor shade structure
  • Food and beverage building
  • Mezzanine area
  • New public toilets.

“This is a community precinct that has so many aspects to it, taking in community participation, economic development, tourism, small business and social enterprise to name a few,” Cr Wood said.

“It’s the culmination of years of planning, community consultation, advocacy, working side-by-side with numerous user groups as well as our valuable State and Australian Government representatives.

“The numerous different public spaces within Powerhouse Place will create opportunities for our community to come together, whether it be for major events, smaller gatherings or simply to meet up, which is invaluable from a social wellbeing perspective for our community.

“It will also open the way for more activity along our riverfront at night, further activating this area of our city.”

Mildura’s Mayor said Powerhouse Place would serve as a fresh source of valuable economic stimulus for the region.

“It will provide a new and different focal point for visitors to our beautiful riverfront area, which is already a hive of activity, particularly during our region’s peak tourist periods,” Cr Wood said.

“By offering new experiences and opportunities it will appeal to an even broader range of potential visitors to our region, further stoking the coals of our visitor economy.

“There have already been additional employment opportunities created within the precinct through the two innovative tenants that now call it home – the successful Shippy’s Café and the Christie Centre’s new social enterprise project – which again adds further weight to the economic benefit of this project for our community.”

Cr Wood said despite the size and scope of Powerhouse Place, it has impeccable environmental sustainability credentials.

It is Council’s only all-electric facility, powered by 100% renewable energy, employs extensive use of recyclable materials throughout, including recycled glass for all paving, and features buildings constructed of hempcrete.

Powerhouse Place is also powered by a 39kW solar PV system and will soon be home to Council’s first electricity battery storage system.

Importantly, the site also pays homage to its place in our region’s riverfront history by retaining the iconic Powerhouse building, which is one of the few remaining examples of early riverfront industry in the country.

Originally called the Machine Room, it was one of many buildings that made up the Mildura Power Plant. Other buildings still standing are the Pump House, the Foreman’s residence and the Stores & Office Building (now the Riverfront Gallery).

Funding contributions

Australian Government $2.9 million

Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program Round 3 – $1,000,000

Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Funding – $1,900,000

Victorian Government $5.985 million

Infrastructure Stimulus Fund – $5,000,000

Regional Infrastructure Fund – $500,000

Sustainable Infrastructure Fund – $196,000

Changing Places Funding – $110,000

Women in Public Art – $109,000

Creative Neighbourhoods Program – $70,000

Mildura Rural City Council $1.447 million

Powerhouse building key historical milestones

1907 – Mildura Shire Council began inquiries about probable costs and availability of suitable equipment for the purpose of electricity generation.

1913 – Council took possession of the current site on the Mildura Riverfront

1919 – Building commenced on Power Station 2

1928 – Contracts were signed to extend the electricity system from the ‘Powerhouse’ to supply Merbein, Irymple and Red Cliffs.

1932 – First 1000KW Turbo Alternator installed at Mildura Power Station at cost of 13,500 pounds. Supply changed from Direct Current to Alternating Current.

1950s – State Electricity Commission took over operations of the Power Station.

1967 – Vehicles Club moved into the Boiler Room Building.

1971- Powerhouse leased by Red Cliffs Musical Society (Musical Society Mildura) and Mildura Little Theatre (Mildura Theatre Company). Lease continues until 2019.

2020 – Funding secured to transform the Powerhouse building and site. Consultation on design starts.

2022 – 2023 – Powerhouse Place works take place

2023 – Powerhouse Place opens

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