So, at long last we can move forward on the new SAM.
Love it or hate it, this project will be massive for Shepparton and district.
The recognition and tourism potential of the prestigious collections that will be on display will be significant on a national stage.
Indeed I understand the impressive Gantner collection is being given to SAM only if we build a "purpose built" facility.
Those against this project often cite the cost-currently estimated at $47.4m and say the money would be better spent elsewhere.
Maybe so, but please remember that Shepparton City Council is putting in only $15.35m.
The balance is made up of $10m from the State Government, $15m from the Federal Government and $7m from the SAM foundation.
$15.35m for a facility worth $50m is, as Cr Bruce Giovanetti said, "not bad economics".
As councillor Seema Abdullah says, if the project doesn't go ahead we will miss out on the government grant money-it cannot be reallocated to, for example the proposed Railway Station Overpass.
So that brings me to the proposed Shepparton Railway Station Overpass.
I understand that this project is unfunded and on the surface seems a good idea, but the estimate of $18.5m is mind boggling.
So where is this proposed overpass going to discharge its cargo of passengers eager to savour the delights of Shepparton's CBD?
Thats right in the midst of railway yards and the semi industrial area behind the Terminus Hotel. WTF-after they have navigated their way along Vaughan Street, past empty, unkempt buildings, car parks and industrial sheds they finally come to a couple of common franchises and a K-Mart Coles development like one can find in any major town and we still arn't in the CBD proper!
You couldn't make this stuff up!
Let me make two suggestions.
- If you want to access the above mentioned area more easily from the existing Railway Station, build an Underpass-I'm sure it would be a lot cheaper.
- Build a railway platform and shelter (in keeping with the new SAM design) at the new SAM.
Passengers alighting here could visit SAM and then take a leisurely stroll along the beautiful Victoria Park Lake and the impressive new court house, straight to the CBD to enjoy one of the many diverse eateries that Shepparton is becoming famous for.
Yes there are a couple of eyesores along here ( the bomb site at corner of Sobraon St, the old servo at corner of Vaughan St and the burnt down hulk of the Shepparton Hotel). Still not ideal but those three eyesores could easily be improved if the council had some mettle.
Shepparton has a chance to become a significant tourist destination-Please don't muck it up.