Member for Northern Victoria Region, Candy Broad today officially opened the Merrijig Community Hall following a major upgrade.
Ms Broad said Merrijig, just 15 minutes from Mansfield and in the foothills of Mt Buller, had become a popular tourist, lifestyle and tree-change destination.
“With a number of new residents moving to the area there is a great need for community facilities and activities that can foster a sense of community and safety among new and old residents,” Ms Broad said.
“Merrijig Community Hall, while well maintained, also included a large kitchen and male and female toilets that were primitive.
“The upgrade involved reconfiguring the indoor and outdoor space to increase the hall’s functionality, constructing additional space and renovating the existing building.
“The project included extending the hall to accommodate a new kitchen, meeting room and toilets, a new back verandah, installing heating and cooling, new plumbing and electrics and landscaping.”
Ms Broad said improving the hall would enable it to retain and expand on the number of events it hosted, helping attract more residents and visitors to the area thus helping local businesses.
“The project will provide a suitable venue for local organisations to hold fund raising events, thus contributing to their ongoing financial viability,” Ms Broad said.
“Upgrading the hall will increase opportunities for gatherings and events that strengthen the Merrijig community and contribute to the creation of a caring, connected and inclusive community
“Upgrading the hall will also improve the health and well being of the community by providing a safe and accessible venue for sport, recreation and cultural activities.”
Ms Broad said the Brumby Labor Government had provided funding of $220,000 to Mansfield Shire Council from Regional Development Victoria’s Small Towns Development Fund.
Ms Broad said Mansfield Shire Council contributed $60,000 towards the cost of the $340,000 project, with $30,000 contributed through the Federal Government and the community provided the rest through cash and in-kind contributions.
“The Small Towns Development Fund is helping Victoria’s smaller towns create jobs, drive economic growth and improve community infrastructure,” Ms Broad said.
“The Merrijig Community Hall – Community Heart project is typical of all Small Towns Development Fund projects, which are making a big difference to small towns.”