Res­i­dents agree hall must stay

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page -

More than 80 res­i­dents at­tended a com­mu­nity meet­ing last Wed­nes­day and agreed to move a mo­tion re­quest­ing Moira Shire Coun­cil re­scind their de­ci­sion to de­mol­ish the com­mu­nity hall.

Moira Shire Coun­cil at its June or­di­nary meet­ing voted to have the hall and the ad­ja­cent old kinder­garten site de­mol­ished to make way for a new li­brary de­vel­op­ment and car park.

A com­mu­nity ac­tion group made up mainly of res­i­dents who use the hall for func­tions and meet­ings also moved that the for­mer P-4 gov­ern­ment pri­mary school on Piper Street be re­leased to the coun­cil for com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment such as a li­brary precinct.

The ac­tion group now to be re­ferred to as Town Hall Precinct Friends Group or­gan­ised the meet­ing to ex­plore ar­gu­ments for and against Moira Shire Coun­cil’s res­o­lu­tion as well as to con­sider fu­ture ac­tion and for the com­mu­nity to vote on mo­tions put for­ward by the ac­tion group.

Group spokes­woman Jeanette Wil­son said the group or­gan­ised the meet­ing so mem­bers of the com­mu­nity could get their voice heard in lieu of no pub­lic meet­ing be­ing or­gan­ised by coun­cil be­fore coun­cil’s de­ci­sion.

“We be­lieve that there should have been an open pub­lic meet­ing be­fore the de­ci­sion to de­mol­ish the com­mu­nity hall was passed by Moira Shire Coun­cil on June 27, 2018,” Mrs Wil­son said.

“The vast ma­jor­ity of those present on Wed­nes­day did not com­plete the sur­vey and didn’t know about the pro­posed de­mo­li­tion.

“Coun­cil’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­egy needs to ac­knowl­edge that over 40 per cent of Moira Shire res­i­dents do not have in­ter­net ac­cess at home. Com­mu­nity meet­ings en­gen­der a sense of be­long­ing and com­mit­ment and lead to health­ier com­mu­ni­ties.”

Mrs Wil­son said lo­cal res­i­dent Ge­off Camp­bell has demon­strated that the site sur­vey anal­y­sis of 2016 was faulty, that the town hall precinct is not the best site for a new li­brary and that the old pri­mary school site is and should be re­turned to the peo­ple of Yar­ra­wonga in ex­change for the Vic­to­ria Park land oc­cu­pied by the Yar­ra­wonga P-12 Col­lege.

Mrs Wil­son also be­lieves that Moira Shire Coun­cil’s con­sul­ta­tion strat­egy was se­ri­ously flawed and that the Yar­ra­wonga Li­brary and Town Hall Precinct Com­mu­nity Con­sul­ta­tion via a sur­vey was push polling and “not democ­racy in ac­tion”.

“No op­tion was pre­sented that kept both the town hall and the com­mu­nity hall avail­able to the cur­rent users,” she said.

“Both op­tions B and C in­volved lo­cat­ing the li­brary within the town hall which could only have meant lo­cat­ing it within the au­dito- rium and thereby de­stroy­ing the au­di­to­rium for its cur­rent uses.

“Only 162 re­spon­dents gave their post code, 152 were from Moira Shire, of whom 135 were from Yar­ra­wonga and 9 were from Mul­wala.

“The Yar­ra­wonga Li­brary has 3,050 mem­bers ac­cord­ing to the GVL An­nual Re­port 2017/17, page 33, so not even many li­brary mem­bers were aware of, able to ac­cess or will­ing to com­plete the sur­vey,” Mrs Wil­son added.

“The Ur­ban En­ter­prise con­sul­tants re­port nei­ther listed nor ac­knowl­edged the cur­rent us­age of the com­mu­nity hall and kitchen, nor did it con­sider the so­cial and eco­nomic ben­e­fit to the town of the us­age, nor the dis­rup­tion of ac­tiv­i­ties caused by the pro­posed de­mo­li­tion.”

Mrs Wil­son said there were no cur­rent users of the shire and /or com­mu­nity halls were in­cluded on the li­brary precinct steer­ing com­mit­tee.

“Whilst we strongly op­posed de­mo­li­tion of the com­mu­nity hall and kitchen we wel­come the be­lated recog­ni­tion that the Yar­ra­wonga Town Hall re­quires con­tin­u­ous ac­cess to a com­mer­cial grade kitchen which means that the kitchen must pre­cede de­mo­li­tion of the com­mu­nity hall and kitchen and that the ar­chi­tec­tural in­tegrity of the shire hall must not be com­pro­mised.”

Moira Shire Coun­cil­lors Cr Kevin Bourke, Cr Peter Mans­field, Cr Peter Law­less, Cr Marie Martin and lo­cal mem­ber for Ovens Val­ley Tim McCurdy were at the meet­ing.

All coun­cil­lors were in agreeance that they would lis­ten to the com­mu­nity’s con­cerns as well as Cr Martin and Cr Bourke both stat­ing; “we must have com­mu­nity own­er­ship as it is your build­ing and we are look­ing at the fu­ture and longevity.”

The mo­tions passed at the meet­ing were: 1. As Moira Shire rate pay­ers and/or res­i­dents at­tend­ing the com­mu­nity meet­ing in Yar­ra­wonga on Au­gust 15, 2018 we re­spect­fully re­quest Coun­cil to re­scind that part of Res­o­lu­tion 9.3.2 passed by Coun­cil on June 27, 2018, which refers to de­mo­li­tion of the Com­mu­nity Hall.

2. Coun­cil must en­sure that there is ad­e­quate stor­age for chairs, ta­bles and stage stairs be­fore de­mol­ish­ing the stor­age shed and pro­vide a suit­able al­ter­na­tive site for the Yoga por­ta­ble.

3. As ci­ti­zens of Vic­to­ria and Moira Shire rate pay­ers or res­i­dents at­tend­ing the Com­mu­nity Meet­ing in Yar­ra­wonga on Au­gust 15, 2018, we re­spect­fully re­quest Moira Shire Coun­cil and the State Gov­ern­ment of Vic­to­ria to re­turn the for­mer P-4 site of the Yar­ra­wonga Col­lege to the peo­ple of Yar­ra­wonga for the de­vel­op­ment of fa­cil­i­ties to ben­e­fit the Com­mu­nity. The Sec­ondary Col­lege site oval is not a fair ex­change for Vic­to­ria Park.

4. That a Town Hall Precinct Friends Group

be formed.

More than 80 lo­cal res­i­dents at­tended a com­mu­nity meet­ing re­lat­ing to the town hall precinct re­de­vel­op­ment.

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