At last … a use for the Olde Gaol
18 July, 2012
For years the old Castlemaine Gaol has hung like a millstone around the neck of this shire. A ball chained to the suppurating leg of a prison inmate may be a better metaphor.
What to do with it? Spend $80,000 on fly-in fly-out consultants from Sydney to advise us to put in ‘micro-breweries’ there? (Yes.) Put any of their recommendations into action? No.
Pour money into the governor’s residence? Yes. Wasn’t the Governor a bastard? Who’d want to live in that bastard’s place? Or buy chutney and jam with little lace doilies on the lids from his former bedroom? Icckkk.
Job creation schemes for the unemployed? Yes.
Weird murder games downstairs for bored burghers? Yes.
Thousands of Commonwealth dollars on signage, which included the names of all those hanged printed on the tabletops in the cafe? Yes. (How kooky is that? If you wanted something to put you off your latte, look no further.)
The odd theatre show in the dungeons? Yes.
Tourist accommodation in the former cells? Come on, really! Yes! Hear the ghosts of the damned screaming at night! Touch the buggery in the cells! Feel the ice-cold air on your bum cheeks!
Finally Council has decided to sell it.
That has to be the best idea Council has come up with so far
Apart from dynamiting that vile monument to cruelty, ignorance, capital punishment and the class system, that is (although I don’t think Council came up with that idea. CI did.)
Sell it. Bulldoze those fucking horrible walls and that miserable tower and that bastard of a governor’s residence and melt that razor wire down into nails to hold building timbers together.
Convert the lot into rubble.
Gold shmold. The Aborigines could tell us more about that site than our depraved 150 years of messing with it.
And maybe the new residents won’t even hear the ghosts of the damned.