February 19, 2017
A public meeting will be held in Nanango soon to discuss the future of historic Ringsfield House.
South Burnett Regional Council CEO Gary Wall and councillors will be invited to attend the meeting with Nanango Historical Society members and interested members of the community.
The meeting will be held on Thursday (March 9) at Ringsfield House at 7:00pm (NB. Updated date and time).
The decision to hold the public meeting follows a special meeting of the Nanango Historical Society last Thursday.
The Society currently looks after Ringsfield, which is owned by the South Burnett Regional Council, but the members of the Society’s Management Committee have indicated they are no longer prepared to manage the property into the future.
Nanango Historical Society president Ros Gregor said treasurer Kaylene Bochmann warned members on Thursday that the Society could not incur any more debt.
A focus of the discussion was the Ringsfield Café, which opened in 2014, with a professional caterer in charge, but was later taken back over by Ringsfield.
The meeting discussed the reasons why the café was not profitable, including a shortage of volunteers.
The Management Committee said this lack of volunteers was putting increasing pressure on the committee members which was not sustainable.
Work For The Dole participants were not considered reliable enough to provide a continuity of labour for the café.
The meeting noted that being located off the main road and outside the main business area of Nanango was a disadvantage for the café, which would require expensive advertising to overcome.
The daily maintenance costs of keeping Ringsfield House and its surrounding gardens to a high standard were also extensive and added put extra pressure on volunteers.
Ros said she would like to press on with the upgrade of the former Masonic Lodge building in its current location, which Heritage Bank Nanango has continued to support even though the building is no longer going to be shifted from Alfred Street to Ringsfield.
She told southburnett.com.au this would include an upgrade to the front of the building as well as the installation of disabled toilets.
Ros said the former Lodge could become a tourist attraction in its own right, but would also allow the Society to take on a more “low-key” role in future such as handling family history inquiries.
- Related article: What’s The Future For Ringsfield?