The Mogo Community Hub is one step closer having secure $999,000 from the Bush Fire Relief Fund. The township was hammered in the bushfires and then inundated in the floods. If you saw the impact on TV or read it in the media only half of the story was ever told as the focus was on the business precinct and rarely on the community who live in the surrounds of the township. The previous Council, under a vision held by staff, in an attempt to revitalise the town, via consultants, looked at what might be done to restore businesses in the town in what they call an Activation Plan. Somewhere along the line somebody suggested mountain biking and before you knew it there was an announcement of $3 million to build trails, a new dunny, extended carparking and bike stands. The community were "consulted" in the rhetorical way that Council does best and it appears to be all done and dusted except for the Councillors signing off on the proposed facilities. That's all nice and good but what about the Mogo community. The hundreds who call Mogo home. The fact is that they have been trying to have a community hub built over adjacent to the Mogo Oval for sometime. A community hub where the town folk could meet, participate in activities, gather around a BBQ, interact with the adjacent oval and facilities and be a true community place for the residents. The location by the Mogo Oval is considered the most central and accessible for the community. It is strongly believed by the community that a Community Hub belongs there and not in the middle of town in the business precinct. The newly announced grant will now go a long way towards the community facility if the town is now able to secure the land that is Crown under Council control. On a separate issue is the fact that the Moruya Antique Tractor and Machinery Association and the Eurobodalla Woodies groups are also looking for a new location after losing their sheds, located in Old Mogo Town, to the bushfires. While they were once located in Mogo there is no reason why the groups need be in Mogo given that they have shirewide membership. At a trumped up press call in Mogo last week orchestrated by two unelected Liberal candidates the invited (and uninvited) heard of a commitment to finding land for a new community hub in Mogo suggesting State own land might be found.
Fortunately in attendance was the Mayor, Mat Hatcher, who did make a commitment to the two groups that he would investigate their request to find a new location. Mr Hatcher said he was committed to finding a location for the community hub "as quickly as possible".
"We want to see these groups going as quickly as possible," the Mayor said. "That's the key to longevity of the community." Given that the draft Mogo Activation Plan has not been finalised the decision on priorities will rest with the new councillors. Consultants currently suggest the community hub is a long term priority. But then this is only the opinion of a consultant and found on a document that has at its focus and immediate priority the building of a Mogo Adventure Park driving activation to the town via mountain biking. The $999,000 grant is a starting point that will begin a process that will now enable the Mogo community to move ahead with a Community facility. Will it include the Moruya Antique Tractor and Machinery Association and the Eurobodalla Woodies groups? Not necessarily. Do they actually need to be in Mogo? Not necessarily. What is important is that the Mogo residents have been recognised and respected with this grant that will hopefully see some healing begin.
Above: Senator Murray Watt, Shadow Minister for Disaster and Emergency Management and Richard Adams, President of the Mogo Business Chamber. Senator Watt has been applying considerable pressure to the Government to release funds for projects such as this.
Above: During Mogo Fun Day