THE Mareeba and Memorial Bowls Club’s current site is officially under the ownership of the Mareeba Shire Council as Mayor Tom Gilmore signed the contract on Friday morning.
The landmark deal will see the Mareeba and Memorial Bowls Club hand over the premises to MSC in exchange for a new clubhouse, synthetic green and retractable shade cover – all of which will be part of the council’s million dollar plus Cedric Davies Community Hub development.
Mareeba and Memorial Bowls Club Committee Chairman Ray McCarthy noted his excitement about the deal.
“This is a culmination of 13 months of negotiations with the Mareeba Shire Council,” he said.
“We looked at what was happening with our bowls club some months ago and after doing a business plan we found that we had a huge premises that wasn’t being utilised – so we felt we needed to do something with it.”
Mr McCarthy said the deal secures the long-term future of the Mareeba and Memorial Bowls Club.
“While we no longer own the premises, we have a long-term lease and there’s grant money to provide updated amenities so the bowlers can enjoy much better facilities,” he said.
“This deal secures a great asset for the town of Mareeba, the Mareeba Shire Council and the Mareeba and Memorial Bowls Club – so it’s a win-win for everybody.”
Mr McCarthy took time to thank those who have contributed heavily throughout this entire process.
“I really want to recognise all of the Mareeba Shire Council staff for working through this with me, it’s been a long process but one that was thoroughly professional and we’ve achieved
a good result for everyone,” he said.
“And I also want to thank my committee who have been behind me all the way and still run the bowls club at the same time.”
MSC Mayor Tom Gilmore, who has been in local politics for decades, expressed his delight in being involved in such an important development for the town of Mareeba.
“This is a significant step forward for Mareeba,” Cr Gilmore said.
“Ultimately I’m confident this will be a development the community will be proud of – and will include areas where people can gather, an updated bowls facility and a library.”
The relocation of the town’s library services from Byrnes Street to the Community Hub site on Anzac Avenue has garnered plenty of discussion, and while Cr Gilmore said he has taken certain community members’ concerns on board, he noted that it is time for Mareeba to have an adequate library.
“Libraries are a place of excitement and a place to learn, and this new library will ensure all of those things,” he said.
“We make hundreds of decisions as a council every year and we often sometimes have unflattering feedback; however you have to plough through irrespective of the noise because first and foremost you know it’s the right decision for the community.”
Cr Gilmore said he would like to thank everyone who has been involved throughout the long and tedious process.
“Today is a significant day and I think the community will look back in five to ten years’ time and say it was a good decision,” he said.