Hub needs council’s backing
THE Dumbalk community is hoping to transform the town’s former kindergarten into a community hub.
However the Dumbalk and District Progress Association first needs a lease arrangement from South Gippsland Shire Council.
The kinder was closed in 2006 and since then the building has been used as a base for reunions, adult education and meeting place for community groups.
The progress association has been pledged a grant of $5700 from the Gardiner Foundation to establish the hub, but that is conditional on a site being found.
The grant expires in May, six months after the grant was issued in November.
Walter Aich of the Dumbalk and District Progress Association said the kinder offered opportunities.
“The community sees the establishment of a community hub as important for the social fabric of the community,” he said, adding the kinder was the last hope for the establishment of a men’s shed or community garden.
Mr Aich said the kinder would provide a business point for council in Dumbalk and a location for council initiated training programs.
Plus the hub could lead to tourism opportunities.
Council has told the association its business plan for the hub is not strong, but Mr Aich said the association was unable to demonstrate income earning potential due to uncertainty about the proposal.
“The risk is low given the history of the Dumbalk community,” Mr Aich said, noting the town’s community spirit.
Among the groups supporting the hub are the Dumbalk CFA, Dumbalk Hall Committee, Dumbalk and District History Group and Dumbalk Spinners.
“The community has lost the primary school, the kinder as a kinder, shops and the butter factory,” Mr Aich said.
Cr Bob Newton said the association needed to focus more on servicing the needs of young people in Dumbalk through the hub.
Mayor Cr Kieran Kennedy said he would like to know more about usage of the existing Dumbalk Hall.
Bev Hanley hoped council would discuss the kinder’s future at tomorrow’s (Wednesday) council meeting but CEO Tim Tamlin said council needed to discuss the matter and a report would be due before council within months.
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