July 20, 2022
After a year of unexpected delays, the South Burnett Regional Council will issue a call for volunteers in the next few weeks to fill positions on its newly formed Ringsfield House Advisory Committee (RHAC).
Councillors unanimously adopted terms of reference for the new committee at Wednesday’s monthly general meeting.
The RHAC will be responsible for developing a comprehensive business plan to reactivate the historic Nanango property for community use.
Ringsfield House was formerly run for several decades by the now-defunct Nanango Historical Society which operated the building as a combined museum, coffee shop and function centre.
The group reluctantly relinquished its lease on the property in 2017 when its members became unable to continue routine maintenance of the complex’s grounds and gardens.
The SBRC then leased the building to commercial operators who ran it as a restaurant until early 2020 when they were forced to close due to the COVID pandemic.
Since that time, Ringsfield has sat largely unused while council officers investigated how other councils operate their community facilities.
In June 2021, officers reported there were several different business models in use by neighbouring councils.
They suggested the best way forward would be to form a volunteer committee to develop a local long-term management plan for Ringsfield.
The Council accepted this recommendation and had originally planned to put it into action soon afterwards.
But the pandemic, staff shortages, floods and the need to attend to other projects meant further action on the proposal was deferred.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Councillors agreed the matter had laid on the table long enough.
Council will now call for expressions of interest from volunteers who would like to get involved in the project, with advertisements expected to appear later this month.
Applications will close towards the end of August, and the matter will return to Council for review at its September Liveability Standing Committee meeting.
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