Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Keep Four Post Camp in community hands

Deniliquin Lions Club to call meeting to address Deniliquin Four Post Camp’s future.

ZOE MCMAUGH March 14, 2014 4:30am

A push to keep the Deniliquin Four Post Camp in community hands is being led by the Deniliquin Lions Club.

The Lions will facilitate a meeting on the future of the camp in response to the Department of Lands’ calls for expressions of interest to manage the facility.

The calls for a suitable organisation to take over from the YMCA, which announced its withdrawal from the facility in December, prompted founding Four Post Committee member and Deniliquin Lion Norm Purtill to renew his interest in the facility.

‘‘After 15 years off the committee I am back living in Deniliquin now and want to do something,’’ he said.

‘‘I took it to a Lions meeting on Monday and we have decided to host the public meeting.

‘‘We are also talking to key players like Murray Shire and Deniliquin Council.

‘‘Everyone I have spoken to agrees that we need to save the asset.

‘‘At the end of the day though, everyone says it is great but no one is willing to take on all the work.

‘‘The meeting will open up communications for a direction forward, because we don’t want this asset lost from Deniliquin.

‘‘As a result of the meeting I would like to see us go ahead with an expression of interest, but management and finances need to be addressed first.’’

Mr Purtill has enlisted the help of former camp manager Marg Jefferies, who said she will offer any knowledge and assistance to help retain the facility.

‘‘So many people and businesses have invested a lot of time and money in the camp, and we don’t want that investment to be wasted,’’ she said.

‘‘I think it needs to be run similar to the way it was before the YMCA took over, but with a greater focus on tapping into all the available tourism opportunities.’’

Formerly a community owned and run facility, management of the Four Post Camp was handed over to the YMCA in 2011 when financial constraints threatened the closure of the camp.

Situated on Crown land, there is uncertainty surrounding the future of the site if a suitable lessee and manager cannot be found.

There are concerns that if the land is handed back to the department it will be returned to its ‘‘natural state’’ and all infrastructure demolished.

Deniliquin Mayor Lindsay Renwick said while the appeals for a community group to take over the facility are commendable, he believes there might be more benefits if an outside company were to take over management.

‘‘We all know that finding volunteers can be difficult and that it is physically impossible to do everything,’’ Cr Renwick said.

‘‘There is a wonderful opportunity for private enterprise to get involved.’’

More details about the community meeting will be provided when a date and venue have been finalised.

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