IT’S BEEN a long road, but the Bega Men’s Shed group was finally able to lodge a development application for its own shed last week.
Bega Men’s Shed treasurer Bob Russell and steering committee member Ray Spencer joined the group’s president Eric Myers at Bega Valley Shire Council to present their DA.
While many Men’s Sheds in the shire have found a home in a pre-existing space, such as Merimbula, Wyndham and Bermagui, Bega has been in the unenviable position of building its own meeting room.
The Bega Men’s Shed will build on land contained at the Old Bega Hospital (OBH) site after securing permission both from the OBH Reserve Trust and the NSW Crown Lands department (BDN 29/6/12).
“It’s been four years in November since our incorporation and sometimes I’ve wondered if we would ever get this far,” Mr Myers said.
“However, thanks to the support of the businesses, individuals and the community at large we have got here.”
The group still requires additional funding due to planning requirements for disability accessible toilets and parking.
“Even when the DA is approved it still has to go back to Crown Lands for approval and we have to raise the additional accessibility funds, so it’s not going to happen in a hurry but we are moving in the right direction,” Mr Myers said.
Mr Spencer said the Men’s Shed is needed in Bega and looks forward to the day they can move in.
“It will be a wonderful resource, a place for men to drop in for a chat.
“You can stay for half an hour or you can get more involved, it’s that kind of group,” he said.
Mr Myer said the group already had plenty of donated building materials and even furniture for the shed once it’s established.
After many years chasing grants and building membership the Bega Men’s Shed is closer than ever of finally having some place they can call home.