Latrobe City councillors argued whether The Wiggles or Pseudo Echo were the best live gigs at Kernot Hall, after council gave the green light for the first round of upgrades at the Morwell venue.
The Kernot Hall revamp will include a host of works including internal electricals, fire escape, toilet, kitchen and stage access.
The works come courtesy of a $2.5 million state government loan to kick start stage one of the project, which must be finished by September 2023 under the funding conditions.
It means Latrobe City has two years to engage an architect, advertise a tender and finalise the project.
Cr Dale Harriman said Kernot Hall had served the community well over the years but it was now getting “tired and dated”.
“It’s time it was given some love and TLC and upgraded into a venue that can help serve the tourism business push that Latrobe City is endeavouring to take on,” Cr Harriman said.
“I think there are a number of councillors who went to balls at Kernot Hall, Christmas break-ups at Kernot Hall and concerts. I think there were a few of us at The Wiggles concert at Kernot Hall.”
Cr Harriman pointed out the success of a Maltese Festival which drew busloads of visitors to Kernot Hall, spilling out into the surrounding parkland.
“It’s provided a huge service to the community, but now it needs some love and money spent on it,” he said.
Cr Kellie O’Callaghan agreed, but stated, “just to be very clear, the best concert at Kernot Hall was Pseudo Echo”.
Latrobe City will need to source more funding to complete stage two of the upgrade, expected to cost another $3 million.
Cr Graeme Middlemiss supported the first tranche of upgrades, but flagged an objection to a future concept plan that would involve paving parts of the parkland to create the forecourt.