Peace of mind in new deal
THE MEN'S Shed at Pottsville has been given the green light from Tweed Shire Council to continue at their Black Rocks Sports Fields location for another five years.
Council voted on Wednesday night to extend the group's licence to a five-year term, with the option to extend for an additional five years.
The council resolution also included developing a master plan for the Black Rocks Sports Fields.
Councillor Pryce Allsop, who moved the council motion during the meeting, said the decision was a positive step for the region.
"They do not just support themselves, they support the community,” Cr Allsop said during Wednesday's meeting.
"It (will) give the gentlemen peace of mind (that) they have stability for the future.
"I feel like it is a real contribution to the Pottsville community.”
President of the Pottsville and District Men's Shed, John Taylor, said the community group could now plan for the future and add to their growing membership base.
"It gives us some security about where we will be and allow us to plan and apply for grants,” Mr Taylor said.
"We were very pleased to get that support from the councillors who gave it to us.”
The initial licence was a fiercely debated issue, with concerns around the region's koala population the main criticism of the group using the Black Rocks Sports Fields.
Penny Hockings, secretary of the Pottsville Community Association, was a supporter of the group obtaining their initial licence in 2017.
She described council's decision on Wednesday night was a relief for the community.
"It takes away any uncertainty, especially after the fight for five years just to get the licence,” Mrs Hockings said.
"They are just such an integral part of the community.
"The service they are there for is the most important - it is for men's mental health and you cannot undermine the importance of that.
"It is a fantastic result and I am really excited to see the future of the Men's Shed, now they can plan for the future.”