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Byron Shire
March 3, 2024

Men’s Shed licence for Black Rocks

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May I address a few misconceptions being promoted about the Pottsville Men’s Shed location.

The said land in Centennial Drive is Crown Land. Crown Land has not indicated that it is about to transfer this parcel of land to the council for community use.

If Tweed council did get control over this site, wouldn’t council be obliged to advertise for expressions of interest from the community regarding its future use?

This process itself would take months of consultation and then developmental approval would be required. The pre-school has been working on their DA at this site for over four years.

The Pottsville & District Men’s Shed (P&DMS) now operate out of a demountable classroom within the Pottsville Beach Public School grounds.

This arrangement was offered to us by the then principal on a temporary basis, possibly for one or two years.

We are now nearing the end of our second year. It is quite likely that the school will need this classroom in 2017 and we would have to vacate.

The school is presently awaiting the appointment of a permanent principal who will want to put their mark on the school. It is very likely that the shed members could find themselves without a shed.

The shed site at Black Rocks was offered to the shed back in August 2014 and the shed members took up this offer of a five-year licence in good faith.

Members have been working to that end since then. Any deferral of decisions already made could be disastrous. It is quite likely we could have a men’s shed without a shed.

The location of the shed on the Black Rocks Sports Field does not impede on any part of the cricket oval or the two rugby fields or running tracks. The shed is located in an area designated for community buildings, such as change rooms or club facilities.

Shed members will be using existing facilities such as the disability toilet block and shade sheds with the obligation of maintaining these existing facilities for the use of the general community and sporting groups when they are using the fields.

This is a win both ways, less costs for the men’s shed and open facilities which are now closed to the community most of the time.

A five-year licence for the Men’s Shed to construct a demountable shed on Black Rocks Sports Field is very timely, it gives shed members a secure home while consultations around other sites can be made.

The shed does not have any tenure at the school and the size of the classroom is far too small to truly accommodate our growing membership.

I would urge supporters of the shed to write/email the general manager of the Tweed Shire Council in support of granting the five-year licence.

Michael Ryan, P&DMS president

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  1. According to the Statement of Environmental Effects for the Pottsville Community Pre-school extension development application, Lot 3 Centennial Drive, Pottsville is Council administered Crown Land.

    According to the Memorandum of Understanding between Crown Lands and the Australian Men’s Shed Association, the Pottsville and District Men’s Shed must direct any requests for investigation of an identified site to the AMSA who in turn will make an application to Crown Lands.

    One reason the Pre-school DA took so long is because it is located over several sites. The ecological assessment has already been done for the Lot 3 site, which would significantly reduce the waiting time.

    Advice I have received is that the temporary primary school site is available indefinitely. If there is uncertainty over tenure, all the more reason to progress a permanent site now to ensure the men’s shed won’t be without a shed. Why go to another temporary site and face more uncertainty in the future?

    In early 2014 P&DMS and Tweed Council Planning staff identified the Lot 3 site as their preferred option for a men’s shed. It is ideally located close to community facilities, the Sports Club and pre-school and primary school so that students can have easy access to learn woodworking and other skills. It is in the middle of town with much less security risks.

    How can an isolated, lonely location with a history of vandalism, break and enter, theft, hooning and fire-lighting in the middle of the bush with no social interaction with other groups be a win for the men’s shed? And it certainly isn’t a win for the koalas to have an industrial-like facility only 20 metres from primary koala habitat in the middle of their corridor.

    I ask the community to write to Council and Councillors in support of P&DMS securing their ideal permanent location at Lot 3 Centennial Drive, Pottsville, where there will be no objection to the granting of a licence.


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