Demolition crew begins the job of bulldozing Geraldton’s historic but fire-ravaged Old Victoria Hotel
Demolition of Geraldton’s historic Victoria Hotel, which was gutted by fire late last week, has begun today with a Perth-based demolition contractor on-site.
A spokesman for the property’s liquidator FTI Consulting said the demolition process was a complex task which would be undertaken with all due caution to protect surrounding buildings on the site and other infrastructure.
“The first task will be to ensure the safe removal of some asbestos,” he said.
“The demolition contractor is highly experienced in asbestos removal and will undertake this process with all due caution.”
Demolition is set to continue into the long weekend by Brajkovich Demolition & Salvage Pty Ltd, which the spokesman said would use the best and safest approach to ensure Marine Terrace can return to normal.
He said the neighbouring property, currently tenanted by Yamaji Arts, would be retained and the demolition contractor would keep the wall between the two properties.
“There has been a request from the City of Greater Geraldton for some original stones and wrought iron from the building to be recovered for preservation and display,” he said.
“FTI Consulting understands from the demolition contractor that this will be assessed once they are on site.
“Similarly, a request to recover artwork on second storey windows of the Blue Heeler will be assessed, based on safety considerations for those undertaking the demolition work.”
The spokesman said if any of the artwork could be saved it would be.
City of Greater Geraldton representative Trish Palmonari attended a crisis meeting of Marine Terrace traders at The Provincial bar yesterday and undertook to answer a series of questions they put to her by today.
These included the length of time demolition would take, health impacts of asbestos found on site and the visual impact of the demolition works.
They also asked the City for signage on Foreshore Drive directing foot traffic to access Marine Terrace through the various laneways and social media postings about parking options.
“The firemen have advised that there is 100m exclusion zone during demolition, is that true?” traders asked.
“Can the demolition start at the back and can reinforced scaffolding at the front be in place to help reduce the fenced off area?
“Why has the Fitzgerald end on the west end been cut off at the roundabout when there is more room to turn around at that end than there is at the other end?”
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