On Wednesday evening a new community advocacy group, Hepburn Matters, was launched at the Daylesford Town Hall.

The launch followed a performance of A Prudent Man by local actor, Lyall Brooks. The performance was attended by over one hundred people.

The production was made possible by local theatre production company, Lab Kelpie, under the leadership of Adam Fawcett.

Warren Moloney spoke to launch the new group and spoke of the widespread concern of the community when the decision was made to abandon the Hepburn Hub at the Rex project. “A few of us started to meet and more joined and we began to identify the need to encourage the Bureaucracy and the Politicians to Rethink the Rex – to realise that closure was not the only outcome.” he said.  “Out of those meetings, we crystallised the need for a new community
advocacy group on Hepburn Matters because Hepburn Matters.”

The group is advocating for the retention of heritage elements of the Rex, a community cinema, community spaces for meetings and performances, public toilets and a library.

The abandoned Rex development did not fulfill all of these requirements. The cinema space which was roughed in on the second floor of the Rex during early stages of the renovations was not considered suitable for community presentations or theatre performances. Early plans to accomodate a social enterprise café and hospitality training space to increase opportunities for local youth were abandoned early in the planning phases because they could not be accommodated in the existing space.

Hepburn Matters does not list office space for council staff among their priorities for community spaces.

People interested in more information about Hepburn Matters can contact the convenor, Jules McDonald.