September 21, 2017
Ringsfield House in Nanango will be run by a commercial operator whose plans for the historic property are presently unknown.
At its monthly meeting on Wednesday, the South Burnett Regional Council voted to accept a tender for the operation of the complex from businessman Beau Smith, son of Nanango businessman Virgil Smith.
Mr Smith will be charged a $400 monthly rental on a 12-month lease, with the option of a 12-month renewal at the end of that time.
Council CEO Gary Wall has been authorised to negotiate with Mr Smith over the final provisions of the lease agreement.
Mr Smith told southburnett.com.au on Wednesday he would not be able to comment on his plans for Ringsfield until he concluded negotiations with the Council and other interested groups, but thought this could occur in the next 7-10 days.
The other groups which are expected to have an interest in the complex’s future include the Nanango Historical Society, which managed Ringsfield for the past 22 years and own many of the historic items stored there, and the Nanango Film Society, who use the church building in Ringsfield’s grounds for monthly film screenings.
Ringsfield House is owned by the South Burnett Regional Council.
It was closed in March this year when the Nanango Historical Society ceased to manage it, citing an ageing membership and a lack of volunteers to carry out maintenance of the complex’s extensive grounds and collections.
Council called for expressions of interest to manage the complex in mid-May, then called for tenders in August.
Speaking after the meeting, South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell said Council was charging a minimal rent because Ringsfield was not a viable business at present.
The Mayor said the matter might be reviewed in the future if Mr Smith was able to turn the complex into a successful commercial operation.