Full steam ahead for Naracoorte’s Men's Shed

Men's Shed members stand on the recently cleared patch of ground that will become their new clubroom (from left); David Law, secretary Harold Leech, treasurer David McRostie, chairman Ken Schultz, vice chairman Graham Henschke (kneeling) and Peter Dawson.
Men's Shed members stand on the recently cleared patch of ground that will become their new clubroom (from left); David Law, secretary Harold Leech, treasurer David McRostie, chairman Ken Schultz, vice chairman Graham Henschke (kneeling) and Peter Dawson.

THE NARACOORTE Men's Shed is one step closer to starting construction on a new workshop, thanks to a large influx of cash from Naracoorte Lucindale Council.

It was decided at the October council meeting that the community organisation would be eligible to receive a total of $33,000 through a combination of grants and loans.

At the start of the meeting, Men’s Shed committee members Graham Henschke and David Law presented to councillors on behalf of the group, citing their ability to advance the health and well-being of members by providing a safe and happy environment as a major positive of the new development.

Mr Law said the organisation was a place where skilled and unskilled men can, in the company of other men, learn new skills, practice and pass on old skills, learn about their own and other men's health and well-being, contribute to their families, friends, the shed and the community and mentor younger men.

The cost of establishing the new shed and clubrooms, which will be located in the Naracoorte Sporting Complex in between the squash club and community garden, is estimated to be $98,000. 

Community support and fundraising has seen the group accumulate $65,000 for the project, though $20,000 of that relates to a grant which has not yet received final confirmation. 

Men’s Shed chairman Ken Schultz said the group was confident that loan grant would be approved by January.

“We have had verbal confirmation from the local member but will have to wait for it to be made official,” he said.

“But at the moment we’ve cleared the site with the help of some local companies and will be cleaning it all soon, ready to start the levelling and then the foundations.

“We’ve had all of the plans approved and fully expect to be building by February.”

With an amount of $33,000 still required, the group asked for council assistance – either via a grant, loan or combination of the two – to bring their project to fruition. 

In their deliberations, council noted that the estimated annual income for the group is $17,000, with the committee estimating that the group could comfortably commit $3000 each year to servicing a loan. 

In the end it was decided that the Men’s Shed would be offered the $33,000 required.

This amount would comprise of $3000 from the Community Chest Allocation, $20,000 from the Development Reserve Allocation and $10,000 from a community loan provided directly from council, as opposed to being established with the LGFA.  . 

It was noted that the council’s director of corporate services Fiona Stringer is authorised to negotiate the terms of the loan, subject to the maximum term being 10 years with two repayments required per annum.