Ralph Richardson on the site of the Retort House and Old Scottish Mine site near the Gympie Gold mining Museum.
Ralph Richardson on the site of the Retort House and Old Scottish Mine site near the Gympie Gold mining Museum. Craig Warhurst

Time has now run out for proposal

GYMPIE Regional councillors voted this week to endorse a proposal that had lapsed due to time restraints.

The proposal was put forward by secretary of the Gympie and District Historical Society Ralph Richardson at a meeting on May 26.

Mayor Ron Dyne said last week it was not council’s policy to make a decision at the same meeting that a proposal was presented to council so that councillors could have time to think – and the item ended up on Wednesday’s Planning and Development Committee agenda.

The proposal was for planning work on contamination management and developing the Old Scottish Mine Site.

And the society was trying to gain federal funding from the final round of stimulus funding for National Heritage Sites.

Yesterday, Mr Richardson told The Gympie Times he had known about the grant application almost a month before the deadline was up (on June 1) and all he had needed from council was a letter of support.

Mr Richardson said he told the Mayor and Deputy Mayor Tony Perrett about the proposal in a meeting on May 11.

After that meeting he said Cr Dyne invited him to present the proposal to the May 26 Corporate Governance and Finance Committee meeting.

But even though the Federal Government had relaxed its original deadline by a couple of days councillors weren’t prepared to write a letter until they had voted.

Mr Richardson said he was disappointed there were no “provisions to get a letter out in a couple of days”. He said there was nothing new in the proposal that council hadn’t already endorsed except provisions for a development, landscape and interpretive plan.

A major part of the proposal was a contamination management plan worth $49,000 which, if successful, would have been paid for by the Federal Government funding.

“(The contamination management plan) it’s what council should have done (as trustees of the land),” Mr Richardson said.

But he has been advised councillors want to talk and find a way forward for the historical society, which was a “positive” thing.

At the meeting on Wednesday, Cr Tony Perrett was the first to suggest council write a letter of endorsement so long as the funding related to stage one of the society’s plan for the Old Scottish Mine Site – which related to planning only.

He also said if council showed its support, that letter could be used for future funding applications. In the end, councillors voted to provide support, now and in the future so long as funding applications related to stage one of the project.

Gympie Times


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