Major upgrades planned for closed council facility
DESPITE making the decision to close a cafe and function centre on site, a local council has applied for funding to upgrade a major piece of infrastructure.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council confirmed it had applied for state funding to upgrade the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre.
Mayor Tanya Milligan said the application was part of the State Government’s $200 million Unite and Recover stimulus program.
READ MORE: Cafe and conference centre closed by council
“We are grateful for the funding support from the Queensland Government, which is a vital component in supporting our local economy to recover,” Cr Milligan said.
“Council is waiting on approval of the funding submission to undertake repairs to the roof and heating, ventilation and airconditioning system, which will improve efficiency and reduce ongoing maintenance expenses.
“As council’s premier conference and function centre, these upgrades have real potential to attract more events and weddings to the region, which has a positive flow‐on effect for other local businesses from accommodation to meals, fuel to farmgate markets.”
Earlier this year, the council announced it would not reopen its function centre and the Staging Post Cafe housed inside the facility when lockdown restrictions eased.
The council said at the time the decision was to ensure it was not competing with businesses attempting to regain their footing following Covid-19.
But the decision caused a lot of anger among the community, with a petition started calling for the Staging Post Cafe in particular to be reopened.
Cr Milligan said the upgrade works would assist with the possibility of reopening the facilities.
“Council is reviewing several operational models so the function centre and cafe can reopen in the future, and the rectification works will assist with reducing operational costs,” she said.
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe visited the Lockyer Valley, and other councils, to discuss the funding scheme.
Mr Hinchliffe said it was important to meet with local councils and discuss how the two levels of government could work together to benefit their communities.
“The pandemic is having widespread economic impacts across the world but we are focused on uniting and recovering,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“These have been incredibly tough times for our communities and for our councils and our Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs plan will do just that in this region.
“The councils I visited today are doing an outstanding job of delivering services and infrastructure for their regions, towns and cities.”