COUNCIL BUYS COMMUNITY HALL AT KENDALL
Monday, 12 July 2010
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is negotiating to purchase the old Batar School House in a bid to assist the Kendall Community Centre to continue operating from the site.
The building which is owned by Scouts Australia NSW has been at the centre of controversy after the Scouts decided to sell the site which would have resulted in the termination of the Kendall Community Centre's lease.
Council Administrator Garry Payne said, "The community lodged a bid of $115,000 to purchase the former Scout Hall in Kendall when it was placed on the market.
"The Council has agreed to honour the bid, but will seek assistance from the Member for Port Macquarie, Peter Besseling to help secure State Government funding towards the sale price.
"Apart from it's historical significance, the building is an important part of the Kendall community and while Council is facing significant financial challenges at the moment, we could not sit back and do nothing to help the local community," Mr Payne said.
The Kendall Community Centre operates from three premises in Kendall's Comboyne Street - two on Crown land (the Kendall School of Arts built in 1908 and a technology centre opened in 2004) and one on an adjacent property owned by Scouts Australia NSW which is home to the old Batar Creek School house, built in 1918 and moved to the site in 1970.
The Kendall Community Centre (KCC) comprises The Community Technology Centre, the Kendall Rural Transaction Centre, and a second-hand book exchange.
The KCC's services to the Kendall community include:
- Computer and Internet services to the local business community and residents
- Computer training, secretarial and office services
- CountryLink ticketing
- Free tax help
- Publishes the Kendall Chronicle, a popular community newsletter (delivered to 2500 residents every fortnight)
- An agency of the Bendigo Bank
- Centrelink Access Point
- Community health premises visited by regional doctors, an acupuncturist, para-medical professions and Australian Hearing Clinic
- Bazaar for locals to sell their produce, arts and crafts, and second-hand goods.
"Had Council not stepped in to buy the site, it would have severely impacted on the Kendall Community Centre's ability to deliver these important community services," Mr Payne said.