Finley’s hall needs have changed
Dear Editor, I have been a volunteer of the hall committee for well over 20 years, and during this time have witnessed a gradual decline in the use of the Memorial Hall to a stage where apart from the footballers’ ball there has not been a major function in the hall for many years.
No organisation has used the hall for any function that could not be accommodated in the School of Arts.
The first point I would like to make is that the hall’s removal is not being pro- posed because of its poor structural condition.
The fact is, it is not used. Some bookings have been made for hastily organised functions to demonstrate a need.
These functions could be accommodated in a renovated and airconditioned School of Arts.
While it is acknowledged there will be those who will lament the loss of this facility, it has simply outlived its usefulness and has become a financial burden to the ratepayers of the whole Berrigan Shire.
It is also a financial burden to the Hall Committee who operate with a very limited budget.
Up until about four years ago, basketball had been a major user group for this hall.
It is being considered to move basketball to the In- door Sports Centre at the showgrounds.
This facility is vastly under-utilised at the moment and is surely a preferred option for indoor sports.
There is a mention of a replacement value of $1.5 million placed on the hall. This is totally irrelevant.
We have a brand new public facility at the recreation reserve built at around the cost of $1.6 million, which is available for hire for any function.
I have also been a member of the Finley Amateur Dra- matic Society for over 30 years.
I have stood before patrons at our shows explaining to visitors to town where to find the bathroom facilities and have been embarrassed by their condition.
A minor makeover was applied to the women’s a couple of years ago, but we have no disabled facility.
Please read and enquire about all the information you need to make your decision on this proposal before voting. If this proposal is not accepted by the Finley community and Berrigan Shire ratepayers, nothing will change. We will be left with substandard facilities, ongoing costs and no funding to change that. Our hall needs have changed over the years and we need to change too. Yours etc. Ross Whittaker President Hall Committee Finley