The Balonne Shire Council has reconfirmed its desire for the Dirranbandi Hot Baths to be developed by a private operator on a private site at its monthly meeting yesterday.
Should that not be possible Council has chosen a preferred Jack Dwyer Memorial Park site, subject to it signing off on a business case prior to any works commencing.
Council-owned Lot 56 SP101406 was chosen over other public sites because of the available space to build the hot baths on the lot and its close proximity to the water bore and water treatment facility.
It is also close to the carpark, has no constraints such as Native Title or nature reserves, and is suitable in terms of infrastructure related costs when compared with the alternatives.
The project involves the development and construction of therapeutic hot baths in consultation with Spa Guru Consulting.
Spa Guru founder Kirien Withers has been appointed as the project consultant for conceptual design and theme, site selection and project costings.
A site adjacent to the Council-owned site at Jack Dwyer Memorial Park and two other sites – Rail and River Precinct and a location between the Dirranbandi Caravan Park and Showground - were also considered.
Council was told that all these sites were problematic for a variety of reasons including local amenity, lot size and available space, Native Title and being owned by the State Government with the lot being included in a dedicated nature reserve and a planned road reserve for one of the sites.
Other impediments include the cost of infrastructure services because of the site distance from the town bore and water treatment facility and the estimated time required for acquisition, which was well beyond the timeframe of the grant milestones and conditions.
Preliminary work will involve the finalisation of the site by Council, completion of the project
design and approval of the design by Council, the procurement of materials, a tender process for a construction contractor and the engagement of the contractor.
Construction works will include earth works, the preparation of footings and the site, excavation for the tanks, and the construction of footpaths.
The project has been made possible with a total of $875,000 of grant funding from the Commonwealth Government Murray-Darling Basin Economic Development Program.
St George Library is on the move
The St George Library will be closed from Monday 23rd November as staff move the facility to a temporary new home at 14 Henry Street.
It will re-open at the former video store site on Monday 30th November.
Library staff are arranging to support special needs clients.
Mayor Samantha O’Toole said the relocation was necessary to allow for work to begin on the new library hub which is funded by the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) and will feature:
- Collection and general reading areas
- Age-specific areas
- Quiet reading room
- Public amenities
- Makers space for innovation, creativity and robotics
- Two meeting rooms
- Storage area, and;
- Installation of fixtures.
The Culture Centre Annexe will be refurbished to include two large meeting rooms, green spaces, a courtyard, façade, foyer Art Gallery and landscaping.
Council is also contributing to the building adding:
- A Country Universities Centre educational hub
- Spaces equipped with technology for virtual learning, training and connection
- Hot desks and office hire, including virtual office hire and services
- Business support programs and visiting consultant workspaces
- Training and workshops via virtual connection, including spaces for Distance Education
- 3D Print Hub for prototypes and new product development, including ag-tech and a;
- Dedicated area for the celebration of local history and cultural representation
Council has appointed Complete Urban as the project manager.
“The new library hub will be a real asset for the people of Balonne, and I cannot wait for the work to begin later this year,” Cr O’Toole said.
Council approves community grants
Council approved grants and donations to a range of community organisations totalling more than $17,000 at yesterday’s meeting.
- St George Golf Club: $3000 for the Dragon Country Sandgreen Cup which this year attracted 230 people, were from outside the Shire who stayed an average of three nights.
- Dirranbandi Pastoral & Agricultural Association: $3000 for 2020 Dirranbandi Christmas in the Showgrounds, a family orientated event.
- St George Pony Club: $3000 towards bringing one day events to the West.
- St George Aboriginal Housing Company: $3000 towards 2020 NAIDOC Week celebrations which will incorporate events throughout the Shire in November.
- Thallon Progress Association: $2370 towards the Grazing at the Watering Hole long table dining experience with half the 200 tickets expected to be sold to people outside the Shire.
- St George Isolated Children’s Parents Association: $1800 for the 2020 Breaker Camp, which will provide about 40 children an opportunity to learn new skills and build friendships and;
- St George Boxing Club: $1372.50 for club polo shirts and singlets.
Council provides funding for Thallon arts project
The Balonne Shire Council will provide $3500 to the Thallon Progress Association to suppport the Placemaking in Thallon project.
The project aims to provide an artistic expression of Thallon’s history as a railway town.
It is proposed four recycled metal sculptures will acknowledge the role of the railway in the town and the Shire and encourage visitors to explore the relationship further.
Council was told the funding would go towards the cost of a sculpture portraying a rail fettler working on a rail track.
While the association has proposed to locate the works on Shire land, Council plans to hold further discussions with the group.
Council also wants to see a community consultation program undertaken for the placement of the sculptures, particularly with the community members who will be directly impacted by the structures.