Men’s Shed

Isis Town and Country - - Opinion -

IT IS some­what mys­ti­fy­ing and a source of ex­treme dis­ap­point­ment to see the saga of the Childers Men’s Shed un­fold­ing. Re­tired men com­ing to­gether for friend­ship and to share skills that ben­e­fit our lo­cal com­mu­nity is a laud­able thing. It would ap­pear lu­di­crous, how­ever, that such ac­tiv­ity comes at the ex­pense of other com­mu­nity mem­bers and valu­able com­mu­nity as­sets – in this in­stance the for­malised agri­cul­tural ed­u­ca­tion for our kids and their ac­cess to OP-level Agri­cul­tural Ed­u­ca­tion is to be sac­ri­ficed to pro­vide space for a hand­ful men to get to­gether to “shoot the breeze”. It’s not as if Childers is land­locked. It’s not as if there is a scarcity of coun­cil-owned land in and around our town­ship. The agri­cul­tural plot in ques­tion may be mod­est but its ac­cess pro­vides safety and se­cu­rity for our kids. There are many other va­cant blocks of land that surely would be fit for pur­pose of an un­der­tak­ing like a Men’s Shed. Af­ter all, un­like high school stu­dents, re­tired men usu­ally have ac­cess to ve­hi­cles – at least one would think at least one of the shed pro­po­nents must have ac­cess to a car. It fol­lows, there­fore, that the is­sue of safe and ready ac­cess is not so press­ing for the men in ques­tion, as it is for the teach­ers of our lo­cal high school. One would have thought that the con­tro­versy about this mat­ter would have led rea­son­able peo­ple to re­think their pro­posal with a view to re­mov­ing com­mu­nity angst and dis­rup­tion to the ed­u­ca­tion of our kids. Be that as it may, I am com­pletely per­plexed by the ac­tions of the Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil in this mat­ter. The coun­cil has the power to fix this dilemma but for some un­known rea­son seems hell-bent on de­stroy­ing Agri­cul­tural Ed­u­ca­tion out­comes for our town and hell-bent on thwart­ing the ma­jor­ity view of com­mu­nity mem­bers. You would hope pro­po­nents of the Men’s Shed would recog­nise that their “needs” are not as im­por­tant as the ed­u­ca­tion of our kids and act rea­son­ably and look for an­other op­tion for their project. For what its worth, how­ever, I call on our elected coun­cil­lors to act in ac­cor­dance with the needs and de­sires of our com­mu­nity and re­scind this di­vi­sive de­ci­sion. J NILON NORTH ISIS

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