Photo caption: A significant structural upgrade on the way for the popular Gum Flat Public Hall, with Land Manager Chairperson Penny Hackney, left, Gum Flat Public School Captain Fred Miller, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Captain Bella Latimer and Land Manger Committee Member Wayne Mudford.
Wednesday, 30 March 2022
THE home of a popular monthly rural get together, which started as a result of the drought, is preparing to undergo a significant structural upgrade, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announcing a $41,285 State Government grant for works on Gum Flat Public Hall.
Mr Marshall said the 108-year-old building has helped get the Gum Flat community through many difficult periods, and now it was time to give back to the spectacular, iron structure.
“As devastating as the drought was it brought rural people closer together and highlighted the importance of quality community meeting places like public halls,” Mr Marshall said.
“At the height of the drought in 2019, the Gum Flat Hall Land Managers kicked off monthly community barbecues – an initiative to get local farmers off their properties and socialising during the unrelenting drought.
“The hall has done a mighty job catering for these events which have continued since then, but now work is needed to strengthen its structural integrity which is in decline.
“A new iron roof will be installed and new peers will be put down underneath the floor.
“Also, the electrical wiring and circuit board will be upgraded and a wheelchair ramp added, to improve access for those with limited mobility.
“By undertaking these works now the land managers will prevent further deterioration and keep the hall a functional and active part of the community.”
Gum Flat Public Hall and Recreation Reserve Chairperson Penny Hackney said the renovations would improve safety and accessibility while maintaining the building’s rustic charm.
“Gum Flat Hall is the only public building in the close-knit population of 213 people,” Ms Hackney said.
“The hall is important as it serves as a venue for a number of Gum Flat Public School activities and fundraising events, including the annual bingo night.
“Gum Flat Hall is also available for hire and is a popular venue for rustic, country style weddings.
“We have planned these works to take place after Easter and throughout winter, with the expectation of them being finished by spring in time for wedding season.
“The hall has been an integral part of our small rural community since 1914, and we are thrilled that it will be preserved for the enjoyment of generations to come.”