BELOVED BANDSTAND TO BE REMOVED

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser
Denmark's John Clark Memorial Bandstand was built in 1964 by ND Thornton and hosted the annual Community Christmas Carols in the past.
Camera IconDenmark's John Clark Memorial Bandstand was built in 1964 by ND Thornton and hosted the annual Community Christmas Carols in the past. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Denmark’s beloved John Clark Memorial Bandstand will be removed.

A proposal to remove the heritage-listed structure was endorsed by the Shire of Denmark council four votes to three at Tuesday’s meeting.

The bandstand, located on the eastern bank of the Denmark River, had been deemed structurally unsafe for public use after an inspection this year.

Further assessment revealed an estimated cost of $100,000 for the Shire to reinstate the corroded bandstand which had sustained ongoing flood damage in the past year.

During the council meeting, Cr Peter Caron requested to amend the Shire’s initial recommendation for public consultation on the future of the bandstand, asking the council to support his proposal for demolition.

“It is with deep regret I propose removal of the John Clark bandstand. Recent inspections determined the bandstand is in a terrible state ... it is beyond restoration, and would need removal and replacement,” he said.

“Many community members will be angry and upset at the bandstand removal ... however, it would be wasteful to spend time and money looking at alternate options that are not be feasible.

“I do not want to raise community hopes that we could restore, only to dash those hopes down at a later date. It is already clear that removal of the structure is the only solution that does not unfairly burden the ratepayer.”

Councillor Caron also requested that the Shire to consult with the Denmark Historical Society to determine if sections of the removed structure could be installed at a suitable location to preserve the history.

The council also voted to recognise the historical value of the bandstand to the community and investigate a means of replacing it with a similar design.

Shire of Denmark executive officer, Bill Parker said there is a number of assets that have deteriorated beyond an acceptable level and Council will need to make some tough decisions over the next few years

“The current condition of the bandstand reinforces the work that the Shire is doing from an asset management perspective,” he said.

“The Shire has a number of assets that have deteriorated beyond an acceptable level and Council.

“The Shire’s Asset Management Plan will be presented to Council over the coming months and responds to the challenges that we are currently facing.

“I am hopeful that a robust Asset Management Plan that is supported by appropriate levels of investment will alleviate future Council’s being put in this difficult position.”

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