Bandstand to fall

By Grace Jones | posted on June 21, 2019

DENMARK councillors voted to endorse the removal of the John Clark Memorial Bandstand on Tuesday night despite a number of impassioned pleas from the public to keep the historical structure.

Earlier this year the Shire conducted an independent assessment of the bandstand after a routine inspection deemed the building to be structurally unsafe.

Director of Assets and Sustainable Development David King said the bandstand’s girders were completely rusted out, the structure’s integrity was compromised and it was “probably not reparable” in its current condition.

Members of the gallery audibly gasped when Deputy Shire President Peter Caron announced he would move an amended recommendation to remove the bandstand, opposed to the original item that would have had councillors vote to go to public comment on the future of the structure.

“It’s with deep regret that I make this recommendation,” he said.

“The bandstand is in a terrible state and it would cost more than $100,000, which we can’t afford.

“There will be a negative response to this but it would be wasteful to look at options that are not feasible.

“I have consulted with the Denmark Historical Society to salvage parts of the bandstand to be preserved.”

Cr Ian Osborne seconded the motion and said it was a reality they would have to face that it was not possible to repair the structure.

Cr Rob Whooley successfully moved to include another amendment that would have council investigate means of replacing the structure with a similar design.

“It’s not denying that the bandstand isn’t structurally sound,” he said.

“We’re giving indication to the community that it’s not just council’s desire to demolish, but to also rebuild.”

Cr Jan Lewis spoke against the amended motion and said the community should be allowed to emotionally and financially support a project.

The motion was carried four to three with Cr Janine Phillips, President Gearon and Cr Gibson against.