Shed devel­op­ment could stop pro­gram

Isis High’s agri­cul­ture pro­gram at risk due to land dis­pute:

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

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.

PHOTO: MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

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.

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