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La Trobe MP Jason Wood and Casey Mayor Sam Aziz at the almost complete Bunjil Picture: GARY SISSONS Place. 170648
On time, on target By Victoria Stone-Meadows Casey’s $125 million Bunjil Place project has an official opening date with construction expected to be complete and the new building open to the public on 28 October 2017. Federal MP for La Trobe and Casey Mayor Sam Aziz took a look at the building on Wednesday 19 July to inspect how the work was coming along. When the mammoth project was first announced in June 2015, council predicted construction would be complete by the end of 2017. The project was jointly funded by Casey Council and the Federal Government thanks to advocacy and input from MP Jason Wood. Mr Wood was instrumental in se-
curing $10 million of funding from the federal government for the project and said he was amazed with how the building has come along. “It looks unbelievable,” he said. “The wood feature archways at the front - when you first see it, you realise this is not an ordinary building this is a work of art.” Mr Wood said the performance and exhibition spaces within the new building would mean people in Casey and surrounding areas will have access to world-class art at their doorstep. “When it comes to the performing arts and arts in general, now we will have a facility which will mean no longer will the good people of La Trobe and Casey need to go into the CBD to see high quality arts,” he said.
“Instead the good city folk can come here and see local artists and see them perform in home territory.” Mr Wood said he was impressed the Casey Council had managed to use the federal funding contribution to get the best outcome for residents. “It’s precisely what they said they would achieve on paper but to see it close up you realise it is that and more,” he said. “I must congratulate the Casey Council, councillors and staff; they’ve really gone after a major project for the area going to have benefits for the community for decades to come.” Bunjil Place will be officially opened with a weekend of activities in and around the building on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 October.
Cr Aziz said all residents were welcome to attend the event and be some of the first to experience one of the City of Casey’s biggest infrastructure projects. “After many years of planning and construction, we are incredibly excited that we now have a date to welcome the first visitors to this vibrant entertainment precinct,” he said. “Bunjil Place will be an enlivening destination, providing experiences that will instil a sense of enjoyment, wonder, discovery and belonging in visitors.” “With such a diverse and unprecedented mix of facilities, Bunjil Place will offer enriching experiences for all visitors and you will be able to choose how you want to enjoy this remarkable
new community space.” After the initially opening celebrations have ended, Narre Warren library and council offices will begin to operate from the new building on Monday 30 October. Council expects there will be no interruption to services to residents as the move to Bunjil Place would take place entirely over the weekend. Cr Aziz said he was really looking forward to the official opening of Bunjil Place and to be able to see this massive project come to fruition. “With the opening now imminent, I hope you’re all as excited as I am to step foot inside in the near future and experience all Bunjil Place has to offer,” he said.
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