Shed development could stop program
Isis High’s agriculture program at risk due to land dispute:
A 1113sq m PARCEL of land at North St has become the centre of a storm.
3A North St is a Bundaberg Regional Council-owned parcel of land that has been used by Isis District State High School for years.
But the announcement in February of a 10-year lease of the land to Childers and District Men’s Shed Association and subsequent proposed development application has threatened one of the school’s most successful programs.
Isis High has used the land as part of its hugely successful agricultural studies program, providing a home for livestock which students use to learn vital skills unique to Childers.
In a letter jointly signed by Isis High principal Allan Cook and P&C Association president Sandra Webb sent home with students on May 7, the school confirmed the program is now at risk.
The letter also confirmed the school would lodge an objection to the “development application process for the use of this land”.
“The facts are that there will be a significant negative impact on the school’s agriculture program,” the letter says.
According to a council statement last week the lease area is subject to an informal agreement between the school and the former Isis Shire Council.
The agreement was for the school to use until it was “required for community use”.
“The property is freehold land owned by Council and the proposed use by the Childers Men’s Shed group is an appropriate use of the land,” Cr Tony Ricciardi said.
The Men’s Shed is a nationwide concept aimed at addressing mental health among men.
Members meet in a shed to learn skills, work on projects, and encourage conversation that could alleviate mental health issues.
Childers Men’s Shed has looked for a suitable site for the past 15 months.
February’s announcement was a godsend for the Men’s Shed, who were awarded $35,000 for the construction of the shed through the Queensland Government’s Jupiters Casino Benefit Fund in October.
They have since submitted a development application to council, with the current public notification period lasting until May 29.
An “acquittal period” of 12 months is attached to the grant, but Childers Men’s Shed would be able to request an extension due to the “extenuating circumstances” that surround this issue.
Extension applications are common, with “council regulation” one of the most common reasons.
Childers Men’s Shed president Rob Dight said he would not comment until after the notification period.
LAND TUSSLE: Rudy Stakenburg, Childers Men’s Shed president Rob Dight and secretary David Wilson pictured after the council announced the 10-year lease for the potential men’s shed site at North St in February.