Pottsville Men's Shed's future home in doubt

HAPPY FOR NOW: Pottsville Men's Shed members on site at their new Black Rocks facility.
HAPPY FOR NOW: Pottsville Men's Shed members on site at their new Black Rocks facility. Aisling Brennan

THE Pottsville and District Men's Shed is facing another hurdle in securing a permanent home on crown land.

New South Wales Department of Industry, Lands and Forestry has alerted the local Men's Shed that officers were unable to identify any immediate crown land suitable for the development of a permanent structure within the Pottsville area.

While Tweed Shire Council issued a five-year temporary licence to build facilities at Black Rocks sports field after months of negotiations, the group is required to actively find a permanent location for the shed.

The department's letter noted the Men's Shed hadn't lodged a request to identify suitable sites but would investigate suggestions made on their behalf.

Pottsville Men's Shed president Michael Ryan said the group will work on putting together its "wish list” of suitable locations, despite having previously been told to wait for crown land to be made available.

"It's a backwards flip on what we've done previously,” Mr Ryan said, referring to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Australian Men's Shed Association and the state department.

"Nothing's really changed in regard to availability of land. It's not as though you can find a block of land. A block doesn't just appear out of nowhere.

"We haven't been putting it in writing and we've been talking to plenty of people.

"We've done nothing as for sitting down and writing a wish list, which is most likely something we can do now that we've had a few years of experience of owning the shed.”

One option the department put forward was to see what land was transferred to the council's portfolio as part of a new crown land legislation pilot program, expected to be completed in 2018.

"The plan would be to put the wish list we want ... to Crown Lands and maybe in two years' time, if nothing's eventuated then, start planning where we could go,” Mr Ryan said.

"With council these things take time, you would imagine that if you're in the planning stage that at the end of the five-year licence you could come to some arrangement in terms of the (Black Rocks) location.”

Tweed Shire Council is expected to make note of the department's correspondence at Thursday's meeting.

Topics:  crown land lands and forestry new south wales department of industry pottsville and district men's shed tweed shire council

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