West Wimmera Shire Council to decommission three halls

Cynthia Hicks has treasured memories of the Bill’s Gully Hall. The hall will now become a tourist attraction. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

Cynthia Hicks has treasured memories of the Bill’s Gully Hall. The hall will now become a tourist attraction. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

WEST Wimmera Shire Council will decommission three halls as part of a $130,000 strategic review.

Council engaged Sena Solutions to review all the shire’s halls, including council-owned halls, those owned by the Crown and some that are privately owned.

The final report was presented to council’s July meeting on Thursday.

Cr Bruce Meyer said council would decommission halls at Miga Lake, Ullswater and Dinyarrak which are no longer in use.

“These halls will be removed from council’s portfolio,” he said.

“Dinyarrak Hall has fallen down since this report.”

He said Bills Gully Hall would become a tourist attraction and the hall’s committee would continue to run it.

Council will look at updating the Edenhope Mechanics Institute Hall.

The review stated the Edenhope hall needed significant investment for its renewal and there were urgent maintenance issues.

Cr Annette Jones said council would meet the hall’s committee to investigate creating a multi-use community hub.

Cr Meyer said council would need to develop a strategy on how the project would be financed.

“We are not committing to anything at this stage, we are just finding out what the community wants and how it will be paid for,” he said.

“It could be a $2-million project, but at this stage nothing is ruled in or out.”

Mayor Ron Hawkins said the hall strategic review was a major issue for council.

“We were pleasantly surprised about the overall condition of all halls and most had a good community of people running them,” he said.

Cr Meyer said every community had the right to have a hall.

“Council had to make decisions on the ones falling into disrepair,” he said.

“Halls are best managed by people interested in them and not by council or anyone else.”

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