After: An artist’s impression shows vertical battens on the side of the performance space as well as plywood lining.

By Tracey Matthies

COMMUNITY reaction to progress photographs of the new community performance space in Mirboo North’s popular Baromi Park led to an investigation and uncovered an error in the project.
The good news for angry locals is the much-maligned grey tin shed, variously described as a “useless tin shed”, “a horse shed” and “an eyesore” will be modified to be more in keeping with the rest of the park.
A South Gippsland Shire Council spokesman said the original Baromi Park masterplan included a small, uncovered space for community performances.
The project was expanded when council successfully applied for a $50,000 grant from Regional Development Victoria to “create an enclosure over/around the community performance space”.
Council’s contribution of $30,000 came from the $400,000 council allocated to Mirboo North as part of its Community Capital Works Allocation project.
The spokesman said the structure, which backs onto Couper Street, was meant to have walls of spaced, vertical battens and not be fully enclosed by Colorbond.
“The Colorbond will be removed and replaced,” the spokesman said.
“This will improve the sight and sound-lines of the space and make it more visually appealing.
“This is council’s error and will be replaced at council’s expense.”
The ceiling and back will be lined with ply “for both aesthetics and acoustics” and power will be connected to the site.
Council posted progress pictures of the works to its Facebook page last week, drawing an outcry from angry and disappointed community members.
Suzanne Tee said the structure had “such a negative impact on the outlook and usability of our beautiful park”.
“What were you thinking South Gippsland Shire? All of the great work to upgrade the park throughout 2020 has just been overshadowed by this absolutely useless tin shed. So disappointing.”
Deb Williams said: “This eyesore creates a visual block from a beautiful view of the park. It will become nothing more than a graffiti wall. I loved the view of our park as we drove along Couper Street… now spoiled by this monstrosity. Bad move South Gippsland Shire Council!”
Cheryl Wilson was also concerned about the size and acoustics.
“It’s not even a stage. Try and fit the Strzelecki Stringbusters in there. It will distort the music and it’s not even big enough for a band, maybe a duo but the acoustics won’t be right no matter how many people are in there.”
Baromi Park is used extensively by the community for many events, including regular markets and the Mirboo North Italian Festa.
Recent upgrade works completed as part of the broader Baromi Park masterplan include construction of a new toilet block at the post office end of the park, a footpath running the full length of Couper Street, extensions to the skate park, installation of a basketball half-court, and a nature-based playground and zipline.
It is expected the remodelled outdoor performance space will open in early 2021.