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Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Casino Drill Hall future on the agenda

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The Casino Drill Hall. (File Pic)
The Casino Drill Hall. (File Pic)

The future of the107-year-old Drill Hall at Casino will be up for discussion today at a meeting of the Richmond Valley Council.

The hall received an eleventh-hour reprieve in December last year when the community rallied against a planned auction of the hall by the Defence Department.

Federal MP Kevin Hogan. (file pic)
Federal MP Kevin Hogan. (file pic)

Page MP Kevin Hogan intervened and managed to gain a six month stay of execution amid calls for the hall to be retained in community hands.

Cr Sandra Humphrys has lodged a notice of motion for today’s meeting, asking the council to determine its position.

Cr Humphrys wants the council to decide on the level and type of support it was prepared to offer the community in the quest to purchase the hall and associated land from the Commonwealth government.

The community has proposed using the hall as a military museum and other community uses.

The council has been asked to consider making an offer to obtain title to the property.

A management committee made up of representatives from the Casino RSL Sub-branch, City of Lismore RSL Sub-branch, Kyogle RSL Sub-branch, and the 41st BN Association has prepared a business plan for the site.

They want to present the business plan to the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Darren Chester, who is planning a visit to Casino in the very near future.

Meanwhile, the council will also discuss a recommendation to fully support the Northern Rivers Rail Trail in its entirety – from Casino to Murwillumbah.

RVC general manager John Walker said for the project to succeed, Casino had to be included as a start/finish point.

Mr Walker said the Casino-Lismore part of the journey would be more popular because it had a gentler run, the best scenery, and was the natural starting point.

He said Council had been an advocate of restoring train services on the Casino to Murwillumbah branch line but, in light of the evaluations of a number of independent feasibility studies, had accepted their return was unlikely the foreseeable future.

He said the concept should be supported in its entirety to ensure the benefits flowed to all four council areas where the rail line was located.

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