Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington with Yarraman Men’s Shed members Kerry Wyvil, left, and Graham Lancaster (Photo: Nanango Electorate Office)

August 1, 2017

The former DPI Forestry truck workshop in Mill Street, Yarraman, looks set to be demolished despite last-minute attempts to save it.

The newly formed Yarraman Men’s Shed wants to turn the building, which has been vacant and on the market for many years, into its work area.

Until recently – when listings were removed from real estate agents’ websites –  the building was on the market for $142,000.

On June 22, the sales listing described it as:

“A remarkable hardwood workshop previously utilised by the forestry. The height allows for large vehicle access and has a storage loft. There are 3 phase power sockets throughout the building. Inside there is an office, storeroom, toilet, shower, and what may have been a spray bay for panel work. It was also fitted out with a compressor and air pipes throughout, though the compressor is no longer present.

“The grounds constitute 4051m2 and they also have a four-bay covered area for vehicle parking. There is a small timber out-house beside the petrol/diesel bowser. Off to one side is a large drive-up mechanics ramp in need of some repairs, with a truck loading platform beside it.

“The property has town water and tank water, plus is connected to the town sewer system. Power and phone have been connected in the past and should be still available for connection.

“This property needs a new owner, with new energy, and a new dream.”

Mrs Frecklington said it seemed crazy that the building, which is owned by the State Government, should be demolished given that there had been no community consultation, and that the Yarraman Men’s Shed had requested use of the facility.

“I just can’t believe the State Government intends to demolish the Yarraman Forestry Shed,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“This infrastructure is perfectly suited to a group such as the Yarraman Men’s Shed, yet this Labor Government have decided the shed is worthless and will be torn down.

“I have been working with the Yarraman Men’s Shed to seek permission for them to utilise the building, but now we have found out the property is being transferred to another government agency and will be removed.”

Yarraman Men’s Shed members believe the State Government wants to build a new fire station on the land.

Committee members wrote to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on June 20 inquiring about the possible use of the building.

The reply they received from Forestry Director Barry Underhill indicated that the transfer of the building to another department was already under way.

“I advise that the intended future use of the site will deliver many benefits for Yarraman and surrounding communities,” Mr Underhill wrote.

“Regrettably the inter-agency transfer process means that the site is not available for use by the Yarraman Men’s Shed.”

Mrs Frecklington said it seemed a poor use of public funds for the government to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to tear down a perfectly good building, when they could buy more suitable land elsewhere in Yarraman.

“There’s just no common sense,” she said.

“The shed has laid dormant for so long, and all of a sudden we hear this news. They haven’t consulted with the Yarraman community, and I know the residents would not want this to occur.

“I’m calling on the Labor Government to delay this land transfer and reconsider this plan.”

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Mrs Frecklington’s letter to Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne:

July 3, 2017

Re: Forestry Sheds in Yarraman

I write in support of the newly formed Yarraman and District Men’s Shed Association who are seeking support to utilise a block of land and sheds currently owned by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in Yarraman.

The group have identified the sheds and land as being well-matched to their needs and objectives, and are seeking assistance to help facilitate a path forward to use these facilities.

President of the group, Mr Kerry Wyvill has copied me into the correspondence he has sent directly to your department and I would like to add my backing to their request. This group would make excellent use of the sheds, and over time help maintain and improve the property.

Men’s Sheds have become an integral part of many communities and I have been delighted to show my support for groups across the Nanango Electorate including the Highfields, Kingaroy and Nanango Men’s Sheds.

I believe the formation of this new group in Yarraman will be of great benefit, not only serving to enhance the well-being of men from the Yarraman region, but to allow them to share skills and contribute to the community.

On behalf of the Yarraman Men’s Shed, I ask for your consideration of their request to utilise the Yarraman Forestry land and sheds.

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