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Residents asked to donate to Four Post operations

Deniliquin Lions Club member Norm Purtill is asking the community to help raise the necessary funds to keep the Four Post Camp open until a permanent manager or investor can be found.

ZOE MCMAUGH March 18, 2014 4:20am

At least $20,000 is needed to keep the Four Post Camp open until a permanent manager or investor can be found.

That is the message from Deniliquin Lions Club member Norm Purtill, who is leading a charge to keep the facility open.

He has asked the community to assist in raising the necessary funds, urging each Deniliquin resident to make a small donation of $5.

‘‘If every individual person in Deniliquin donated $5 it would raise enough money to pay for the insurance, water, electricity and all the other essentials needed in the first three months,’’ Mr Purtill said.

‘‘That would give time to once again open the facility up to the public, bring in corporate partners, re-establish the old user base and develop a new business plan and operating model.

‘‘This sort of community support would be of enormous value in leveraging funding from some government and other sources that are soon to become available.’’

Mr Purtill said Four Post Camp has ‘‘huge educational and tourism potential’’, but said the only way to keep it as a community asset is for it to become financially viable.

‘‘There are enormous ongoing costs in just keeping the camp open even if there are no customers,’’ he said.

‘‘Insurances alone cost $1000 a week, then there’s electricity, water, gas, fuel, telephone, internet, website, maintenance and wages.

‘‘Several businesses, government agencies, Deniliquin Council, Murray Shire Council and Conargo Shire Council have offered to help with in-kind support of materials and labour, but the people in our local community must recognise that in the current situation cash is the only thing that is going to save Four Post as a community managed asset.

‘‘There is a core group of people who are experienced and know how to successfully operate the camp but they need at least $20,000 cash in a hurry to make it happen.’’

The Deniliquin Lions Club is hosting a community meeting on the future of the camp next Tuesday, from 7pm at the Deniliquin RSL Club, at the request of Mr Purtill.

The intention of the meeting is to find someone to submit an expression of interest to the Department of Lands for the land, or for an expression of interest from the community to be drafted.

Four Post was created and managed by a community group until financial constraints forced the committee to bring in the YMCA.

After a YMCA merger last year, a review of the facility was conducted and the YMCA subsequently withdrew from the camp.

Located on Crown Land, the Department of Lands is now charged with finding a replacement lessee and manager for the camp.

Anyone wishing to donate to the running of Four Post is invited to phone Mr Purtill on 0417831466.

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