Media Releases 2011

Council applauds funding for Circus Oz and Doncaster rail link

04 May 2011

Cars congested along Hoddle StreetCircus Oz is set to return home to Collingwood after the State Government yesterday announced a $15 million grant for the internationally-renowned performing troupe.

The funding, provided in the State Budget, will be used to create a world-class circus arts centre at the former Collingwood TAFE site on the corner of Johnston and Wellington streets.

Yarra Mayor Alison Clarke said Circus Oz had roamed far and wide since its first shows at the Last Laugh in Collingwood more than 30 years ago, and was presently based in Port Melbourne.

Cr Clarke said it was fitting that the next chapter of the troupe’s colourful history would start close to where it all began.

“On the eve of the State Election last year, Council wrote to Mr Baillieu urging him to support Circus Oz’s move to Collingwood, so we’re rapt that is now happening,” Cr Clarke said.

“Circus Oz has a distinct identity and unique approach to its art that audiences have been embracing for decades,” she said.

“Over the same period, Collingwood’s artistic community has also grown and now there will be even more opportunities for local artists to collaborate and support each other.

“This new facility will allow Circus Oz to expand its operations so more people can see them perform and learn from them.

“There is also great potential down the track for residents living on the nearby Collingwood housing estate to get involved and be part of the Circus Oz story.”

Council understands Arts Victoria, on behalf of Circus Oz, is developing a Conservation Management Plan to assess how the TAFE site’s heritage buildings and features, including the Keith Haring mural, can be retained and preserved during the development of the new facility.

Meanwhile, Cr Clarke welcomed a $6.5 million commitment in the State Budget for a planning study for the Doncaster rail link.

Council has campaigned for years for the creation of a rail line to Doncaster as the only real, long-term way to ease traffic congestion in Hoddle St and this side of the CBD.

“People who travel along the Eastern Freeway and through Yarra will only ditch their cars in large numbers when they get a fast, well-connected, comfortable transport alternative,” Cr Clarke said.

“Traffic congestion in local streets has a big impact on the liveability of our inner-city neighbourhoods,” she said.

“Congestion is not going to be solved by creating more roads or putting in road tunnels, as experience has shown that only increases the number of cars on the road.

“We need to give the 600,000-plus people who live in the Doncaster region a real choice about how they travel rather than leaving them dependent on cars which pollute and congest our community.

“First proposed in the 1890s, this project has long been one of the missing links in Melbourne’s public transport network, so I’m sure the news that it is finally back on the drawing board will be music to the ears of both local residents and frustrated car commuters.”


Further information
Toby Walker
Senior Communications Officer
9205 5120



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