Boolarra Community Development Group (BCDG) Report – June. 2011

Boolarra Community Development Group (BCDG) Report

In one of the most exciting developments for the BCDG in recent times, a facilitator has been appointed to assist the group and the community to progress a number of projects. This appointment germinated from discussions with Heather Farley from Latrobe City Council, when she advised there was still $9,900.00 that had been made available for bushfire recovery through the CBI program.

After advertising the position and going through an interview process, Liz Tyler has been appointed to the position of Facilitator. The priority projects identified for Liz are the Bushfire Memorial Gazebo, the Men’s shed, the multi-purpose building, a community website and the wildlife shelter funding project. A workshop was held with representatives from each of these projects to clarify the goals and processes and to identify how the facilitator position can assist and Liz has been doing good work following up on these projects.

Jared Mills has been co-ordinating use of the Community Bus for a while now. He has reported some serious concerns to the BCDG on the general condition of the bus and specifically on repairs required to the air conditioning. As a general principle the Development Group aims to have the bus in tip-top condition for all hirings. However, the air conditioner will cost >$3,000.00 to repair and needs parts from Japan that will take over six months to arrive. In addition to this problem, other major repairs will be required within two years. In the light of this the Development Group needs to consider options for repair, replacement or loss of the community service, taking into account the costs involved and the general level of usage and community demand.

The Development Group continues to be involved in a range of projects, some of which are covered in more depth in other reports.

We continue to work with the Multi-purpose Building Committee of Management and Latrobe City on the redevelopment of the facility. Currently we are awaiting revised plans for consideration.

Plans for the Bushfire Memorial Gazebo to be located in Railway Park have been drawn up by Chris Langridge and we are currently seeking the necessary permits and approvals prior to undertaking the erection.

Jill Simmonds has the planning for the Open Garden Day in November well in hand, with six gardens organised at this stage. The wet weather has had a significant impact on a number of local gardens, but Jill is confident they’ll all be blooming marvelous by November.

The Development Group is supporting a proposal from the Top Shop and local artist Abbas Mehran, for a mural to go on the wall of the shop. Abbas has prepared drafts of the design and has put in a great deal of time and thought and consulted with many locals, including the Historical Society, to develop an appropriate design.

Abbas has also initiated a “community” art show, which the BCDG is supporting. We would love to make this an annual event that will attract people into the town, as it would provide Boolarra three promotional attractions, along with the Folk Festival and the Open Garden Day that are well spaced and catering to a diverse audience.

The other promotional opportunity we are looking into (in conjunction with the Churchill News) is the development of post cards incorporating images of Boolarra, which we hope to have available in the near future.

Colin Brick.
Boolarra Community Development Group