Black Rocks site could soon be approved for Men’s Shed

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IN WHAT could signal the end of one of the longest running local issues for the Tweed, a decision over whether to approve the Pottsville District Men’s Shed at Black Rocks Sport Field – but the stalemate may soon be over.

Tweed Shire Councillor Reece Byrnes earlier today announced to The Weekly that he will “vote for a Men’s Shed at Black Rocks” ending a stand off between Mayor Milne and the club that’s lasted more than a year.

In addition, Councillor Byrnes said he has lodged a formal motion calling for a vote on the Men’s Shed to be brought back by Tweed Shire Council.

“Labor’s decisive action resolves this long standing community issue and delivers the Men’s Shed for the Pottsville community,” he wrote in the email.

“The Men’s Shed needs a better location and at this current time Black Rocks is the only and best option,” he said.

“It is also vitally important that our precious Koalas are protected and we have to work together to ensure that our local Koala habitat is preserved.

“Tweed Council and the Pottsville community have repeatedly called on State MP Geoff Provest and his Government to act and provide appropriate public land for the Men’s Shed.

“To date, Geoff Provest has failed, he has been unwilling and unable to fix this issue.

“For far too long this issue has dragged on causing concern and distress throughout the community.

“The uncertainty ends today. Labor will step in and fix this, delivering a Men’s Shed for Pottsville.”

READ THE MOTION (provided by Mr Byrnes):

1 – Council rescind its motion dated 17 November 2016 deferring the determination of a licence for the Pottsville & District Men’s Shed.

2 – Council immediately grant a temporary licence to the Pottsville & District Men’s Shed at the Black Rocks Sports Field for the period of 5 years; noting:

a) the community support of a Men’s shed at the Black Rocks site.
b) the division and uncertainty this issue has caused in the Pottsville Community over a long period of time.
c) the now evident lack of available or cost-effective alternative sites.

3 – Council ensure that the vital Koala corridor at the Black Rocks site is monitored by Council environment officers to ensure the protection of this endangered species.

Meanwhile Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, has welcomed the announcement by Cr Reece Byrnes that he has “changed his mind” on the Mens Shed licence for the Black Rocks site.

“It is great to see Cr Byrnes finally listening to the community on this issue,” Mr Provest said.

“The NSW Government has committed over $70,000 in community grants towards the construction of the shed and I look forward to seeing the benefits flow to its members and the wider community.

“I would also like to commend the Pottsville Mens Shed members, particularly the president, Michael Ryan for his tireless efforts in raising both funds and awareness of this project.

Pottsville & District Men’s Shed President Michael Ryan released a statement yesterday (Wednesday, February 8) praising more than 200 residents who atteneded a rally in support of the Black Rocks Sports Field site.

His statement is below and please note this was sent prior to Cr Brynes announcement:

“Yesterday over 100 residents of the sleepy coastal village of Pottsville, NSW, gathered on Black Rocks Sports Field to show their support for the Men’s Shed. So why is Labor, through local Labor Councillor Reece Byrnes supporting the Greens to block the Men’s Shed? The previous council passed all the necessary approvals. The shed now has over $75,000 in funds to complete the construction of the shed. Shed members have been out in the community with a petition supporting the shed. They have gained over 2,000 signatures from the local community.
So, the question is, why is the newly elected Labor Councillor, Reece Byrnes, blocking the last requirement. That is the signing of the 5 year licence to construct and operate? This licence was also passed by the previous Council but the Greens Mayor would not sign it. It is to be noted that Cr Reece Byrnes is a staff member for the Member for Richmond, Hon Justine Elliot MP of the Australian Labor Party.
Come on Labor “WE PUT PEOPLE FRIST”, well not in Pottsville.
The community is also organising a “Black Rocks Men’s Shed Walk of Support” on Sunday 26th February. This is going to be big. A symbolic march from our present temporary location to the Black Rocks site. This could well be a march of celebration and not a protest march with a little bit of help from Reece.”
UPDATE:
Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, has welcomed the announcement by Cr Reece Byrnes that he has “changed his mind” on the Mens Shed licence for the Black Rocks site.

“It is great to see Cr Byrnes finally listening to the community on this issue,” Mr Provest said.

“The NSW Government has committed over $70,000 in community grants towards the construction of the shed and I look forward to seeing the benefits flow to its members and the wider community.

“I would also like to commend the Pottsville Mens Shed members, particularly the president, Michael Ryan for his tireless efforts in raising both funds and awareness of this project.