By Jeremy Cook
Public consultation is set to determine the next course of action in the long fight to restore Allora’s beloved community hall.
The Allora Community Hall has remained out of use ever since a condition report released in November 2021 found the building in structural disrepair.
Southern Downs Regional Council, who own the facility, have faced mounting pressure from residents over the time taken to commence repairs on the hall.
Allora Community Circle spokeswoman Jaimie McMillan said the hall’s closure has proved costly for the community.
“I think it’s probably fair to say that the majority of our community can agree that it’s a facility which is really important for our town,” Ms McMillan said.
“We can’t do fundraisers …, the Wattles football banquet has gone to Clifton which is not only out of our town, but it’s out of our region,” she said.
“What’s lacking and what’s hurting the community the most is that there is nothing to do for us to come together.
“We’re just left without a space.”
Cr Pennisi said community consultation will allow the council to consider the costs required to repair the hall and whether that would be “the most effective use of limited resources given other options available”.
“With regional growth comes pressures and challenges on our community centres, one of the most pressing issues being infrastructure,” he said.
“There are a number of issues to consider to effectively meet the growing needs of the Allora community including long-term maintenance of each building, suitability for the activities, the capacity of each venue and the financial investment required to bring each building up to standard.
“Council has limited funds and it is imperative to get decisions around the Allora community halls and precincts right the first time around.”
As part of the consultation process, Mayor Vic Pennisi said the council will also consider a proposal to relocate the Allora Library & Council Customer Service Centre to the Allora Senior Citizens Centre, “which could allow for the expansion of the Allora Sports Museum”.
Cr Pennisi urged Allora residents to provide input on the future of Allora’s community facilities by completing the council’s Allora Community Halls and Precincts Survey.
The survey will close at 5pm on Friday, 8 December and can be completed online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/7JWWMTG.