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Push for new Leongatha entertainment hub

A PROPOSAL to build a new RSL complete with upmarket accommodation in Leongatha could still proceed.

Last year, the Leongatha RSL flagged the possibility of building a new RSL on the corner of Smith Street and Michael Place in Leongatha.

The new complex was to include a restaurant, accommodation, function centre and on-site parking.

The RSL proposed to buy the former Carinos office complex now owned by South Gippsland Shire Council and sell the existing RSL site in Michael Place to council.

But the RSL withdrew its proposal in October 2017, despite the RSL and council entering into a Memorandum of Understanding to start talks about a land swap earlier that year.

The Star understands the Leongatha RSL withdrew its proposal after the complex did not receive unanimous support from the RSL committee, despite significant work already being undertaken to progress the project.

The Star understands committee members in favour of the new RSL are advancing their case for the project to advocate for the proposal to proceed, citing it would benefit Leongatha and broader South Gippsland.

Had council acquired the existing RSL site, it was likely the site would be included within a municipal precinct to include new council offices and a library for Leongatha.

Among those supporting the proposal is RSL president Steve Wisdom.

“If it does not happen, it will eventually mean the death of the club,” he said.

RSL members for the project believe it would help attract new members, young and old, as well as provide a diverse income stream by enabling the club to host large functions by offering extra space, as well as accommodation, to people attending those functions.

How the project would be financed was a point of conjecture, with significant capital raising – in the order of many millions of dollars – by the community required.

Council mayor Cr Lorraine Brunt welcomed the prospect of a new RSL.

“We have been informed that the local RSL was not in favour or was not able to agree on moving forward on that project, but it would have been fantastic if they could have come to some sort of agreement on how to best move forward,” she said.

“If they can’t come to an agreement, there is not much we can do. I’m sure there is support from within council, if they do want to do something. It would be great for Leongatha.”

Cr Brunt would not rule out a municipal precinct in the long term.

Council’s existing offices are ageing and were not designed for modern municipal operations.

“You have to think that over time you have to evaluate your office space,” Cr Brunt said.

 

 

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=23677

Posted by on Jan 9 2018. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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