Presentation by Wal Sheehan of the Narooma Mens Shed to Council Feb 27th
Recreation and Open Space Strategy (ROSS) Narooma Men’s Shed presentation to Council 27 Feb 2018
Thank you for the opportunity to address the full council. I feel we should have done this some years back. I hope that you have all had a chance to read our submission and visit our website. But just in case!
Why am I here? The ROSS report, in our opinion, was about space to be set aside for both Recreation and Sport. Recreation is defined in the dictionary as ‘refresh (oneself), entertain, pastime, relaxation and amusement. The Men’s shed and Montague Arts and Crafts consists of 250 members of the Narooma and Dalmeny area, focussed on recreations with a purpose. We provide health activities in the form of wood and metal work, art, crafts and horticulture. We seek to challenge people to enjoy their hobbies, keep their mind active, as well providing an opportunity to serve the community and be recognised for their contribution. We cater for the +55 age range (which is 1 out of every 2 people in the area). We are 10 years older than the average person in Eurobodalla. There are now over 1,000 Men (Community) Sheds in Australia, the majority established with council assistance, because Councils see the benefits in addressing health issues and ageing in today’s Society.
We deal on a day to day basis with the following mental health issues; Isolation Bereavement Relocation to a new community Dealing with members who have issues with cancer with poor prognosis Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Suicide prevention Giving people a reason to get out of bed and out of the house In simple terms we provide a community wellness centre (focussing on hobbies and helping the community) without receiving any recurring expenditure support from the community
We are , presently operating 5 days a week out of leased premises in Glasshouse Rocks Rd.
We have been dealing with trying to obtain a permanent site to operate from. We have been fortunate to have a ‘peppercorn’ rent of $1 per year from inception to 30 Sep 2019, on the present site as long as we paid all outgoings. The men at the shed have taken an old run down hire facility, and over that time, turned it into one of the best Men’s (and Community) Shed in the country, all without any tangible help from council until this year when we received a rate subsidy. The owner of the property has received considerable capital growth on the property as well as not having to put their hand in their pocket for the improvements. A win-win?
At the end of our present lease 30 Sep 2019, the combined rent of the facility we have been advised will increase to .
The ROSS report to council identifies the Men’s shed’s submission at Not a resounding positive result for finding a site and building a facility on that site by 30 Sep 2019.
The following suitable vacant parcels of in the Narooma Area have been promoted by the Men’s Shed as solutions to providing a permanent site, but to date all have been rejected by Council staff for Too close to the helicopter pad. Site is sloping and a highly visible location Power pole, trees and sewer pump station on block. Potential flood area also very visible on waterfront. Set back will also reduce footprint area. Former dumping site and current council stockpile site.
CAR Parks off Bowen St Both car parks are currently attached to DAs for Club Narooma and Odds Bods Gym. (While they may be required in theory as per traffic and parking studies, in reality they are never used except by the leaves blowing through them)
Bill Smyth sporting precinct – Two areas are identified The vacant space on Mc Millan road between the oval and the tennis courts Opposite residential area, is part of a sports precinct, and used for car parking by tennis and oval users. (It is an unformed area, not a car park, and seldom used with plenty of alternative car parking available) The HILLY AREA at the bottom of Canty St. Received positive initial indication from Council staff, only to have that now bundled into the outcome of the ROSS by a study expected to take two years from now or more. (The area proposed is not suitable for Rugby, Aussie Rules or Netball)
Conclusion I have laid the issues out before council as best I can. We have pursued and been rejected by council staff on all attempts to move forward with a permanent site. Until we have a permanent site available we cannot apply for Federal or State grants to build a Community Shed concept as we have submitted to you in our ROSS submission. It is not a solution to stay on the existing property and expect it to succeed and grow on a pay as you go basis. It is a community asset and as such needs to be in the community’s hands to manage as per the ROSS directions for community halls. Whether we have a Narooma Men’s (Community) shed in the future is in your hands. Failing to move forward now to specify a permanent site will ultimately lead to the demise of this valuable community asset in 18 months’ time.
Wal Sheehan President Narooma Men’s Shed