The view from Cannon Hill.AN ampitheatre at Cannon Hill has been suggested by Warrnambool’s mayor Cr Jacinta Ermacora as a way of revitalising the iconic natural landmark.
Nanjing Night Net

The scenic hill overlooking Lake Pertobe and the foreshore is a popular vantage spot for locals and visitors only two blocks away from the central business district.

Its potential was recognised in the new city centre revitalisation structure plan officially released by the city council this week for public comment.

The plan recommended upgrading Cannon Hill to become “a key parkland attractor and southern anchor to the city centre as well as a more inviting place for daily city users”.

It suggested reconfiguring car parking to provide parkland/seating areas with elevated views over the lake and foreshore, improving park furniture and landscaping, plus improving pedestrian and cycling links.

Cr Ermacora said consultants who prepared the extensive plan recognised the area’s value from an outsider’s point of view.

“It’s a great expression of potential linking our city centre to the Cannon Hill area,” she said.

Cr Ermacora suggested a stone ampitheatre could be built into the natural slope on the southern side of the hill providing a great venue for concerts, festivals and relaxation.

“I want to stimulate community thinking on this and get people’s ideas,” she said.

The structure plan, which had its origins in a community workshop more than three years ago, will be out for public comment for six weeks.

It sets a vision for the next 25 years covering a diverse range of issues including parking, traffic, street revitalisation and heritage.

Cr Ermacora said one of the main themes was to make the CBD safer for pedestrians and cyclists while still allowing traffic through.

Concern was raised by councillors Rob Askew and John Harris who said good vehicle access to the central shopping area must be maintained, particularly for country residents.

“If we make it too hard for people to get into the CBD parking areas they will desert the area,” Cr Harris said.

Cr Askew also cautioned about allowing “minimal heritage value structures impede good developments in the city centre”.

He said the plan could also prompt some owners to improve their properties.

Cr Jennifer Lowe said parking would be the most contentious issue within the plan and consideration must be made for future needs in an expanded city.

She called for a marketing campaign to urge as many residents as possible to lodge their comments.

City growth director Bill Millard said the plan would be critical in assisting the council gain government funding for improvements.

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