A long, winding road
The following are extracts of Max Emery’s speech:
“The idea of a men’s shed in Woodgate was first floated at a meeting of the Woodgate Beach RSL sub branch in 2010.
“It was agreed we should start the process of investigating what a men’s shed was and what would be required to establish one.
“The meeting delegated Graham Black the task of co-ordinating this venture and initial contact began with Bundaberg Regional Council in August 2010.
“There were lots of delays in initial contacts with BRC, probably caused in the confusion of amalgamation, and a community meeting was called by Graham to ascertain what community interest there was.
“This meeting took place in July 2011, and was chaired by then-Hinkler MP Paul Neville, and a young future politician Stephen Bennett came along to observe and learn.
“Serious approaches began with BRC in August 2011 and our application went to a council meeting on November 22 (and) was given Approval in Principle status.
“The only land available for a men’s shed was on the recreation reserve.
“This land is owned by Department of Environment and held under a trust lease arrangement by BRC.
“We had to negotiate a sub lease from BRC and began approaches to DERM in October 2011. The land was surveyed in May and we obtained our lease in July 2012.
“We also managed to have a new rule introduced into council. After lobbying every council in Queensland to find out what they do for registered not-for-profit organisations we submitted our findings to BRC who adopted our recommendations.
“The rule states NFP organisations who do not hold a liquor licence and are located on council land will not pay infrastructure fees.
“We hope this will benefit other organisations who find themselves in the same position.
“This has been and will remain a community-instigated, -supported and -run project.
The original steering committee and subsequent committees are proud of what we have achieved. It has been a long and winding road, sometimes with large potholes, to get here.
We have no doubt Woodgate Men’s Shed will become a major asset to enhance the lifestyle and wellbeing of the residents of Woodgate.”