General News

Proposed Community Hub for Mareeba

By January 14, 2019 No Comments

PROPOSED COMMUNITY HUB FOR MAREEBA

Media Release

Mareeba Shire Council will enter into an agreement with the Mareeba and Memorial Bowls Club Incorporated to acquire the land and facilities on Anzac Avenue, to develop a hub for community services and activities including sport and recreation, library service and other associated community activities.

Mayor Tom Gilmore said that while the proposal put forward today is exciting, it is dependent on securing funds before the development can proceed to the next stage. “Various components will need to be costed for a grant application and cost estimates following a Quantity Surveyors report are acceptable by Council when presented,” Cr Gilmore said.

“Then the grant application must be successful for the new and reconfigured facilities to proceed.”

The proposed development would include modifications to the main building to cater for community services, events and training activities, a space for community events and recreational activities and provide space for a modern multi-faceted library service plus the construction of a new clubhouse and synthetic covered bowling green.

Councillor Gilmore said Council has recognised that the size of the current library facilities in Mareeba is insufficient to meet the growing demand from community. “Council has been considering alternative options for this service for quite some time, but until now we have not been able to find anything that is suitable and affordable,” Cr Gilmore said.

“This may be a win-win situation and ultimately the best way forward and hopefully we will see the development occur next year,” he concluded.

A grant application will be submitted early next year while negotiations continue with the management committee of the Mareeba and Memorial Bowls Club.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need a new Library in Mareeba?
The current Library has been in place nearly 30 years and is too small to service the growing community.

Why not expand on the current site?
The current building is not suitable to be expanded and realistically would have to be demolished and rebuilt. A very expensive option.

Can Council and the community afford to build a new Library?
No. A new stand-alone Library has been costed at approximately $4 million to build. This is well beyond our ability to fund. Council has been looking at options for a number of years but has not, until now, found anything that is suitable and affordable.

Why is the Bowls Club site being considered?

For several reasons;

  1. The Bowls Club has offered the land and site to Council. In exchange, Council will build a new much smaller club house and synthetic green with a long-term lease arrangement.
  2. The existing building can be converted to provide a Community Hub delivering a Library and other community services which will meet the growing community’s needs.
  3. Council may be able to get grant funding to do this work and if it does, it makes the idea financially feasible for the community.

Is it definitely going to happen?
The whole idea is contingent on Council securing grant funding. If Council can’t get a grant it won’t proceed, and the Library will stay as it is.

Why not the RSL building or another building in the main street?
Council cannot get grant funding to buy a building and Council and the community cannot afford to buy a suitable building.

If the community to is to get a Community Hub which includes a new Library, then the only possible option available is this Bowls Club option and this is totally dependent on Council securing Grant funding. If this option does not eventuate the Library will remain as is, as there are no other viable or affordable alternatives.