21 December, 2022
Opportunities for Clifton district halls identified in review
A comprehensive review of community halls, Council and community owned, in the rural areas of the region conducted by Toowoomba Regional Council has revealed some ideas about how to improve our local halls.
Council owned community halls include the F. E. Logan Hall, Back Plains Hall and Cambooya Hall.
With 55 community halls in total, TRC Environment and Community Committee Chair Cr James O’Shea said it was important Council had a sound understanding of the condition and use of the halls.
“When conducting the review, Council staff spoke with community groups throughout the Toowoomba Region and users of the facilities to gain further knowledge,” he said.
“For Council, it’s about understanding where we have these halls and identifying opportunities and constraints for facility improvements.
“This will help guide future decision making on where upgrades are most needed and in the cases where the halls are underutilised we will look at strategies on how we can get the best use of the halls in those locations.
“In addition to this, the review will assist Council and the community with funding submissions for potential grants to develop and improve infrastructure and amenity within the network.”
Key facility upgrades identified for Back Plains Hall include a new stove, construction of a storage shed, window upgrades (particularly latching mechanisms) and purchase of a movable ramp to provide all-abilities access from the main hall to supper room and out to the amenities.
The report is frank about F. E. Logan Hall: “The Hall is large, aging and uninviting.”
Key facility upgrades identified include access upgrades and trimming back the adjoining hedges and cutting back intruding roots.
The report suggests Council should continue to monitor use of the facility.
“If demand was to wane, consider removal and development of an extension to the library to create a modern community hub.”
It is also noted that the F. E. Logan Hall is also currently a dedicated emergency evacuation centre.
Significant facility upgrades identified for Cambooya Hall include a complete kitchen upgrade, complete amenities upgrade, access upgrades for the entire building and air conditioning.
The report notes that Cambooya Hall is not heavily used despite being one of the only function spaces in the town.
It also notes the hall is a dedicated emergency evacuation centre, which heightens its need for upgrades.
In addition to the community halls, a range of tenanted community facilities providing exclusive or specialised activities were looked at, including Clifton Dabblers, Clifton Senior Citizens’ Centre and Cambooya Landcare.
Clifton Dabblers is said to be in good condition, with all-abilities access upgrades (door widening and path upgrades to the toilet) said to further enhance the facility.
Likewise, the Clifton Senior Citizens Centre is said to be in good condition.
Necessary facility upgrades identified include replacing the front entrance doors with a wider option and developing an all- abilities access toilet, potentially using some of the space from the room adjoining the male toilet.
The Cambooya Landcare facility is categorised as being in fair condition, with identified improvements including air conditioning needing to be replaced, the exterior needing to be repainted and all-abilities access upgrades (including toilet upgrades) are required.
The report suggested opportunities may exist to divest or re-purpose the facility to maximise its use.
At the Ordinary Meeting of Council last week, Council voted to endorse the Rural Halls Review and the Review be used in the formulation of future Capital Work Plans, Operational Budgets, Asset Management Plans and Facility Planning for community halls across the Region.