ON ITS WAY: The final piece of the hall being moved in Blackbutt last week.
ON ITS WAY: The final piece of the hall being moved in Blackbutt last week. Gordon Dean

Council applies for $250k to cover hall removal costs

AN APPLICATION has been lodged to have the State Government cover half the South Burnett Regional Council's costs following the Blackbutt Hall relocation.

At the June meeting, councillors voted to apply for $250,000 from the Department of State Development's Building Our Regions scheme.

The money is for infrastructure work like footpaths and car parks at the hall's new location.

The resolution reaffirmed the council was committed to delivering the project andmanaging the hall's ongoing expenses.

Councillor Ros Heit supported the submission but had lingering concerns.

"If you can get $250,000 out of the State Government then that's good but I just wanted to make a comment that if the council is not successful in this submission I will not support this council and ultimately the ratepayers spending $500,000 on infrastructure."

Cr Heit said some items were superfluous.

"Doing a sealed car park for 22 car spaces when under the planning scheme we only need to do 14 to me is madness so I don't think that's prudent financial management," Cr Heit said.

In response to Cr Heit's concerns, Cr Gavin Jones said the council would save money in the long run.

The developer is paying for hall upgrades and relocation costs.

"If the hall had sat where it was the council, in the next few years, we were looking at over $500,000 in maintenance to bring that hall up to standard," Cr Jones said.

Most of that will be done by the developer.

Cr Jones said he knew of a developer looking to subdivide a block just on the edge of town.

"And only because of the supermarket (which the hall was moved to make way for)," Cr Jones said.

"After talking to the real estate agents in town, with the removal of the hall there is a lot more interest in Blackbutt."

Given the hall's new home near the showgrounds and Roy Emerson statue, Mayor Keith Campbell said it would add to future events.

"I envisage a lot of new community happenings," CrCampbell said.

South Burnett

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