Celebrating news of more funding to continue the Gilgai Public Hall upgrade works today, Gilgai Crown Land Board member Karl Silveira, left, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Rick Ellis.
Friday, 15 January 2021
AFTER 18 months out of service the Gilgai Public Hall will be restored and again servicing the community, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announcing a $55,350 State Government grant to address maintenance and access issues at the building.
Mr Marshall said a number of structural issues at the hall would be addressed, allowing its doors to re-open to the community.
“Despite being located just 12 kilometres from Inverell, Gilgai is a tight-knit community, with its own distinct identity,” Mr Marshall said.
“Due to council access and safety regulations, the hall has been unusable for a year and half, as it does not meet disabled access requirements and this has left Gilgai residents without a central place to gather.
“This funding will replace the emergency exits and install suitable disabled access, before addressing other safety issues, including the removal of asbestos and upgrades to the shower block and amenities.
“The interior of the hall will be repainted and works will be undertaken to address leaks in the roof to prevent internal water damage.
“With capacity to seat more than 100 people it will be fantastic to see the hall back in use and being enjoyed by locals for events and performances.”
Last year, Inverell Shire Council used a portion of its bushfire recovery funding from the State Government to install a new kitchen and sand the floor in the hall, while another $23,680 grant helped construct a new disabled toilet.
Gilgai Crown Land Board Chairman Rick Ellis said reinstating the hall for public use was part of a long-term plan to revitalise disused public assets in the village.
“When it comes to great public recreation areas Gilgai has plenty, unfortunately in recent years they have fallen into a state of disrepair,” Mr Ellis said.
“It has been a goal of the new land manager board to bring the Gilgai Public Hall, war memorial and tennis courts, all located on Crown Land, back to life.
“The board has chipped away on maintenance at the hall and once these latest repairs and are finished the building will reopen and be able to cater for all manner of functions like weddings, funerals, school functions, community events.
“As was seen in 2019 our little community is no stranger to bushfires and so having this facility accessible will also provide residents a safe place to seek refuge and utilise as a fire control centre, in the event of future disasters.
“With recent grants assisting the land managers to improve the war memorial and hall our next focus will be looking at what can be done to reinvigorate the old tennis courts and clubhouse.
“On behalf of the land managers and wider Gilgai community I want to thank Adam for helping to restore these important community facilities.”