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Crusade to save Strathallan Hall

Strathallan hall committee members have met with Campaspe Shire councillor Leigh Wilson to discuss the future of the community meeting place.

ELAINE COONEY June 11, 2014 3:20am

Strathallan hall committee members Kevin and Ruth Shead want to keep the hall in the community. Photo: Elaine Cooney


The Strathallan hall committee and Campaspe Shire councillor Leigh Wilson met on Thursday to discuss the future of the hall.

The Strathallan hall committee and some residents were alarmed to find out through an article in the Campaspe News Cr Wilson listed the Strathallan hall as unnecessary.

He also suggested its committee could amalgamate with the Nanneella hall committee.

Cr Wilson said it was example of asset that could be removed from council’s assets list to reduce the rate rise, but said council was looking at assets across the shire.

‘‘The big cross is on Ballendella Hall. It gets no use at all,’’ he said.

He said he would not push the Strathallan hall committee to take over the hall.

Cr Wilson stressed that if assets were not removed from council’s register, rates would rise above CPI for the next 15 years.

Strathallan resident Veronica Groat spoke to Cr Wilson about the importance of the hall to the community.

‘‘There isn’t anything else there. It’s all we have,’’ she said.

Mrs Groat said the hall was the meeting point for the community and she may not have integrated with the community if she did not go to the Christmas tree function when she arrived in the district.

She said the annual Christmas event was the main neighbourhood gathering at the hall, but it was used for monthly Landcare meetings and functions such as birthday parties.

‘‘You look at assets as a shire-wide problem, but we are all about our community and our families,’’ she said.

‘‘Little things have a dramatic impact on small communities.’’

She explained how the hall was built in 1929, the roles it had played and the work the community did to maintain it.

Cr Wilson said there was an opportunity for the group to take over the building at no charge except the legal fees associated with the handover.

He said the biggest annual expense would be the insurance.

Cr Wilson said the advantage of merging with another council-run hall would be committee support.

Strathallan hall committee president Kevin Shead said the committee had seven members, but they were not always present for meetings.

The committee members and Cr Wilson discussed the four hectares of land surrounding the hall and the possibility of selling it.

The committee will take the ideas back to the Strathallan community.

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