Waratah welcomes LPACC

Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE’s hospitality department has welcomed the potential Latrobe Performing Arts and Convention Centre proposal despite warnings the Waratah Training Restaurant could be unsustainable with competition at the Morwell site.

Head of the hospitality department, GippsTAFE delivery team leader Terry Lumner said the restaurant, which trains about 200 hospitality students per year, would reap the benefits of having the significant attraction nearby.

“The flow-on of having the convention centre will benefit the Waratah (restaurant),” Mr Lumner said.

“This is looking at hospitality at a whole new level, so it would be good for the students.”

However, the Latrobe City Council’s LPACC business case, adopted recently, identified the Kernot Hall site could not sustain the existing Waratah restaurant and the proposed LPACC cafe due to insufficient passing trade.

The business case also stated “if an LPACC kitchen were to be a training facility (to replace the Waratah facility for example) this could impede its availability for catering purposes for other events/bookings and this would not be acceptable for the efficient and successful operation of a state of the art performing arts and convention centre”.

However, Mr Lumner maintained, despite these findings, discussions with council could still reach an agreed sustainable option.

“We are the biggest land holder and footprint on the site, and I think the institute needs to have further consultation going forward but from a training point of view I think this is fantastic,” Mr Lumner said.

Despite the business case calling for a “careful assessment of the ability for a training facility and students to be able to deliver the ‘quality’ required”, Mr Lumner said students service level would be sufficient.

Latrobe City recreational, cultural and community infrastructure manager Grantley Switzer said the vision for the LPACC at Kernot Hall was to provide professional quality, and state-of-the-art facilities for a high quality performing arts program and events service.