Sound shell demolition a ‘colossal mistake’

Former Dandenong City Band member, the late Stan Prior, in front of the sound shell. 141988_03


THE plan to demolish the 48-year-old Stan Prior Sound Shell in Dandenong Park has been compared by a Greater Dandenong councillor to removing Rome’s Colosseum.
On 11 October, the council approved a $255,000 joint demolition of the sound shell and nearby kindergarten and bowls club in the park – all of which is protected by a heritage overlay.
Councillor Maria Sampey said stamping out anti-social behaviour wasn’t a good enough reason to “bulldoze” the sound shell, which is listed in the council’s heritage places register.
Cr Sampey said the city’s old buildings should be protected and maintained to attract visitors.
“You don’t see Italians wanting to bulldoze the Colosseum.”
Cr John Kelly quipped that the Colosseum was unfinished – without a roof or floor.
He said the facilities to be removed in the park weren’t in good health and that the sound shell, for one, was structurally unsound.
According to the council’s dormant 2007 Dandenong Park masterplan, the facilities would make way for a multi-purpose open space area.
Cr Angela Long paid tribute to late centenarian Stan Prior, after whom the sound shell was named.
“But I think he’d agree that we need to get something new and usable for the park. This area needs revitalising.”
The demolition is still subject to a planning permit approval by the council’s own planning department.