A LARGER IDEA FOR CULTURAL INVESTMENT
The most lasting and revealing records of a generation are its buildings. Buildings most vividly disclose the social, economic and cultural process of their time and leave, over the years, an enduring evidence of a communities’ behaviour and values.
Building and design styles are never static for they change as social habits, needs and desire change.
For example, our own by-gone era was still engraved on the face of our district in 1970, with more local and state heritage buildings present which ultimately gave Victor Harbor its unique representation.
Currently though, our town’s unique historical ambience hangs in the balance principally due to the preponderance of more recently approved uninviting and confusing commercial presentations (advertising, signage, colours, business locations, placements of large retail outlets) etc. which are no doubt the result of the outdated “announce and defend” model of implementation. Communities should be first and foremost the custodians of their locality.
This proposal does not set out to be insensitive or dismissive in noting that in the context of the current climate with its abundant economic pressures, political pressures, social pressures and local pressures, these frequently combine to intermix and interact to the detriment of proposals presented for consideration for community benefit often causing them to linger for years.
However, I congratulate the City of Victor Harbor for instigating the drawing up of a Master Plan in 2006. It is a step in the right direction. Its implementation though, over the many years as indicated (up to fifteen years) is its downfall, and could result in a mix match of ideas over that protracted time frame.
To set up provisions for the new infrastructure would be almost impossible to manage in a long term situation in the current economic climate.
Victor Harbor is currently riding a wave of rapid residential growth, thus gaining principal regional coastal town status for the Southern Fleurieu Region due to a growth rate three times the State’s average.
With this in mind there is a clear need to prioritize investment programs that will identify the City of Victor Harbor as being unique on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
The Fleurieu Peninsula has gained recognition in our State and nation for advancement in social-cultural tourism with artistic concepts which leave an imprint on us all. Its benefits are far reaching economically as tourists flock to the Region. However, as tourism figures indicate the coastal town of Victor Harbor lags behind and falls short in this regard.
Indicated in the CVH Master Plan prepared in conjunction with Planning SA and the Places for People Program, is the fact that the primary focus of the Master Plan is to sustain commercial and economic growth for the centre of Victor Harbor for the purpose of stimulating economic activity.
Sustained economic growth can only be generated by a prioritised investment program aimed at utilizing victor Harbour’s idyllic Granite Island.
The starting point of any Cultural Investment into the revitalisation of Victor Harbor should be to focus on Granite Island as a National drawcard. To invest in this conceptual educational, cultural and historical proposal as presented, would be highly beneficial for the long term benefit of the State, Fleurieu Peninsula and the Victor Harbor community.
This proposal will be the engine to drive growth and development in our local economy. It will create jobs, training and employment opportunities in a diverse spread of tourism, marine and service related vocations, and ultimately will oversee the presentation of a unique tourist drawcard that will have a State, National and International visitor attraction to Victor Harbor.
Our affluent society, abundant with modern technology, now more than ever frees us from commitment to continuous work and gives us more leisure time.
Planning for recreation and leisure activities therefore has become an important and integral factor in our lives. Purely conceptual initiatives are no longer acceptable.
To avail ourselves of these new opportunities we must firstly identify and optimise our local benefits in Victor Harbor to be capable of providing a fertile and sustainable tourism industry. In order to do this we first need to ask ourselves what type of development is required that would benefit all parties concerned encompassing first and foremost our community, our local traders, our tourists, our responsibility to the Fleurieu region including to the conservation, preservation and sustainability of our coastal and marine environments, our State, and lastly but importantly, to our image.
The principal requirements for sensible and acceptable development must be based first and foremost on the promotion of ecological and human values.
Communities should not be urged or obliged to develop their communal environment to accommodate unsustainable ‘money grab’ schemes and commercial proposals that most likely prove to be so divisive and destructive to more and productive effort that they will inevitably prove to be poor investments in the long run.
Victor Harbor’s idyllic coastal setting and region needs to be respected and protected (Yes Minister).
It is not selfish to argue and act this way. We need to speak up otherwise everyone loses, visitors and tourists included.
COMMUNITY EXPRESSION FOR KEY DIRECTIONS
VICTOR HARBOR MASTER PLAN 2006
VALUED CONCEPT VISIONS VALUED OCCURRING EXAMPLES
Natural Seascapes and Peaceful Beach walks
Heritage Avenues of Trees
Art and Culture Open Space
Greenness Granite Island and Causeway
Parking The Whale Tail
Retail Public Art and Culture
Tourist and Family Attractions Family Activities
MOST FREQUENTLY RAISED ISSUES ARE:
- Traffic Congestion
- City Entrances Unimpressive and Unwelcoming
- Need to Protect Heritage
- High Rise Development Detracts from City’s Charm
- Don’t want a second Gold Coast
- Lack of 4 Star Accommodation
- The Coast Needs to be a Town Feature
VISION CONCEPTS SURVEY 2006
Cultural Excellence Future Sustainability
Coastal Views, Beauty and Character Family Friendly – Welcoming
Environmental and Historical Inheritance Relaxing – Renewal – Tranquil
Pedestrian Environment Village Environment
Street scaping – Landscaping Maintain Tapestry and Diversity
Integration Foreshore – Warland Reserve
Elegant – Sophisticated – Good Design Accessibility from Adelaide
Community and Cultural Amenities Economic Sustainability