Victoria Hotel demolished as street begins to recover

Geoff Vivian & Liam BeattyGeraldton Guardian
The condemned building was torn down by Saturday afternoon.
Camera IconThe condemned building was torn down by Saturday afternoon. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

Marine Terrace was reopened to northbound traffic on Sunday as contractors progressively demolished the historic Victoria Hotel and Blue Heelers Tavern, which was destroyed by fire the week before.

They managed to save the neighbouring property, tenanted by Yamaji Arts, and most of the wall between the two buildings.

The demolition left a considerable amount of rubble, which is expected to take several days to clear.

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.

Rubble from the levelled building is being loaded onto truck for transport.
Camera IconRubble from the levelled building is being loaded onto truck for transport. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

Business owners have reported trade picking back up as the street progressively reopens to the public.

The Book Tree proprietor Marianne Bell said Saturday was reasonably good for trade but she did not open on Sunday.

“There were a few sticky-beakers watching the Vic come down,” she said.

“I am not looking forward to going into my shop tomorrow to see how much dust and crap has come under my door.”

Cavania and Cafe Fleur owner Christian Watters said trade had improved when the street was partially reopened to traffic on Sunday.

“The cafe had a bit of dust but they were doing the best they could,” he said.

Tarts and Co manager Bianca Shepley said business had been quiet last week but picked up on Saturday as people came to watch the demolition and stayed for a coffee.

“Saturday was good, Sunday was not too bad,” she said.

City of Greater Geraldton representative Trish Palmonari attended a crisis meeting of Marine Terrace traders at The Provincial bar on Friday evening.

She told business owners the demolition contractor would tackle the asbestos removal first.

“The demolition contractor is highly experienced in asbestos removal and will undertake this process with all due caution,” she said.

Ms Palmonari said the City had requested some original stones and wrought iron from the building to be recovered for preservation and display.

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