Low blow for woodworkers after council rejects application
BOB Jeffery wants nothing more than to offer his club a site where members can use their skills to make woodwork for local charities.
For the past three years, members of the Fraser Coast Scroll Saw Club have been working from their own 'man caves' after the Hervey Bay Boat Club sold the premises they were using.
Mr Jeffery applied to the Fraser Coast Council in January to use a site at a Urangan park, but it was declined.
Instead, plans for a railway track were proposed for Lower Dayman Park, which will be built by Hervey Bay Men's Shed.
He said it was a blow for the club whose main objective was to sell items to raise money for charities like the Wide Bay branch of Guide Dogs Queensland and the Royal Flying Doctor Service Queensland.
"They got offered three sites, and they can't even offer us one," Mr Jeffery said.
"We have one bloke that comes in from Maryborough every week, he's about 89, and that's what he gets out of bed for.
"And we've had quite a few inquiries from people wanting to join, but unfortunately because of the situation we're in, we can't.
"We've had $16,000 worth of machinery in storage for two years now."
Mr Jeffery said the ideal outcome would be a shed or a building large enough to work in so they could continue their charity commitments.
Council CEO Ken Diehm said he was working with a number of community groups that were looking for sheds and meeting space.
"There is a shortage of space and we encourage groups to talk with others about sharing facilities," Mr Diehm said.
"That will help negotiate leases to share facilities.
"As council was already considering an application for the use of the building in Dayman Park it was therefore not in a position to offer it to any other groups.
"The club was notified about the availability of an unused building, but it was acknowledged the building needed extensive upgrades, which would have to be paid for by the group, and they may also need to obtain development approval to operate from the site.
"Other properties suggested by the club were also unavailable due to planning restrictions.
"Council is waiting to hear back from the club regarding the possibility of sharing space with an existing group in Hervey Bay. As yet we have not had a response to the suggestion.
"Council is happy to continue to work with the Scroll Saw Club to help them find suitable accommodation."