Benalla Rural City Council has announced the tender for a Community Hub project for Tatong worth nearly $384,000.
Local builder, Paul Spinks of Profile Developments Pty Ltd will undertake the work which will see a near doubling of the existing Tatong Community Centre at the Recreation Reserve, including the installation of modern kitchen, toilet and shower facilities.
“This Community Hub will strengthen the small but vibrant community of Tatong, expanding and improving a much needed local facility,” said Mayor Cr Barbara Alexander. “The Council is pleased to be working with such a committed group of people on a really worthwhile project. Our whole municipality benefits when our smaller communities are strong.”
Mark Saunders, a Tatong resident and secretary of the Tatong Community Centre Recreation Reserve Committee of Management, says that the project is vital for the community of Tatong.
“The Community Centre is one of the most important things out here. Being an agricultural centre, we don’t have industrial or commercial activity, and this is a place where everybody can come together, be active, and meet with other people,” Mr Saunders said.
The current Community Centre is the home ground for the local Australian Rules Football, Cricket and tennis clubs, and also plays host to annual Australia Day festivities.
“We even have a mother’s group using the facilities,” he said. “There is something on here just about every weekend.”
The CFA also use the Community Centre and Recreation Reserve as a staging ground in case of a fire.
The Community Hub development is being funded by the Council, and a grant of $283,000 from the State Government’s “Putting Locals First” program. A significant amount of work is being donated in kind by the local community and by the Committee of Management, a condition of the State Government grant.
“It’s been heart warming to see how committed the local community is,” Mr Saunders said. “We have already installed a playground – the only public play area in Tatong – and between twelve and fifteen people turned out to both install the equipment and then edge the playground.”
A local builder will donate his time, and the landscape plan has been donated as a contribution to the project, and Mr Saunders expects others to donate work in the form of demolition, painting, digging and other labour. The expected value of the work in kind is $30,000 with a further $40,000 coming from local community organisations.
The main part of the work is expected to start in February 2014, and be completed around the end of May.
Learn more about the Capital Works program in the Rural City of Benalla here.