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Wednesday, May 13, 2015 – PAGE 3
By Lisa Pahl
The historic Nairne Soldiers
Memorial Hall will be handed over to
the town’s council to be transformed
into a community centre.
The 130-year-old hall is the biggest
community venue in the town and is
managed by volunteers.
But the committee is ageing and the
building needs an estimated $365,000
It is now earmarked for a potential
redevelopment into a community
centre after the Mt Barker Council
agreed to take over the facility from the
committee last week.
The main street building, which has
seen more than a century of weddings,
dances, movie nights, concerts, theatre
performances and public meetings,
could be given a makeover costing up
to $1m to turn it into a community hub.
The hall has been identified by the
council as a site that could be upgraded
using funds from a separate rate to
be paid by developers of rezoned land
in the town. That rate is expected
to net about $240,000 towards the
development of a community centre in
Nairne’s population is set to grow
by 23% over the next two decades
and Councillor Jeff Bettcher said that
would make it the largest town in the
district outside Mt Barker.
“We need that kind of civic centre in
the main street,” he said.
Cr Trevor Corbell said the hall was
a “treasured building” that was “built
with the sweat, labor and money of the
“Council would be acquiring for
Nairne a very valuable asset at pretty
much a bargain basement price,” he
“We would certainly have to invest
money to improve it (but) as an option
as a community centre it is very much
a way to go.”
When the council takes control of the
site the hall building and surrounds
will be classified as community land,
but the carpark will be split off and
excluded from that classification.
Cr Carol Bailey said she was
concerned that could jeopardise the
future availability of car parking.
“I would hate to see the hall not have
parking space in the future,” she said.
However, Cr Susan Hamilton said
while she did not support “all the car
parking being taken away”, “we might
need a portion of it rationalised to pay
for the upgrading”.
General manager of council services
Greg Parker said the different
classification was “purely to have some
flexibility for the future for council”.
“Administration have no strategy for
that part of the land at this point in
time,” he said.
The historic Nairne Soldiers Memorial Hall will be taken over by the Mt Barker Council and could be transformed into a
Nairne hall to be
Upgrade begins at
Work has begun on a major upgrade of a
notorious Mt Barker town centre junction.
There have been several injury crashes at the
intersection of Morphett and Walker streets,
prompting the Mt Barker Council to redesign
Walker Street will become left turn only at the
intersection, while designated right turn lanes
will be marked on Morphett Street for drivers
turning into Walker Street.
The council agreed last week to spend an
extra $58,000 on fixing the junction after
detailed designs were drawn up, with the extra
funds coming from savings made on the Druids
Avenue/Cameron Road roundabout project.
A $50,000 Motor Accident Commission grant
also helped fund the project’s design.
Work was set to begin this week, with much
of it to be undertaken at night to minimise
disruption to nearby businesses and motorists.
The project will also include the installation
of pedestrian ramps and a crossing point, a
median kerb to direct traffic flow, line marking
and improved lighting.
Councillor Trevor Keen welcomed the project,
saying the intersection would only get busier
with a new KFC set to open on one corner next
The works should be finished by the end of
An engine fault is being
blamed for a fire which
destroyed a small bus that
pulled over in Stirling on
The vehicle, pictured left,
caught fire around noon but
according to the CFS, the
driver was able to park the
bus in a section of a carpark off
Pomona Road where the blaze
couldn’t spread to other cars or
No-one was injured.
The damage bill is estimated
The CFS sent crews from
Stirling and Aldgate to the fire
but volunteers found the bus
engulfed in flames when they
Passengers escape bus blaze
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