Arts community wants to retain building

HISTORY FOR SALE: Some people in the community are opposed to the sale of the old Bombala Public School and land.

HISTORY FOR SALE: Some people in the community are opposed to the sale of the old Bombala Public School and land.

The old Bombala Infants School is being auctioned on Saturday, May 27 with some residents opposed to the sale.

The building at 8-12 Wellington Street, Bombala is set on 1.51ha/3.733ac of land has not been used for a few years, so the government has decided to put it up for auction.

There are some people in the community however, that would like to see the old building turned into an arts and cultural centre for the area.

Mrs Penelope Judge of Delegate has written to the Member for the Monaro, John Barilaro and asked him to intervene in the sale of the historical building.

She wrote that she was dismayed to see the little advertised auction of the historical building as there had been a move in Bombala to acquire the building for use as a much needed arts and cultural centre.

“The alienation of public buildings by your government is a disgrace,” she wrote to Mr Barilaro.

“These buildings could be used for public benefit. We have seen what happens when they are passed into private hands in Bombala.

“A beautiful School of Arts building has been left to deteriorate because the owner would not negotiate a reasonable price with the community,” Mrs Judge said.

Mrs Judge went on to urge Mr Barilaro to put pressure on the Department of Education to stop the auction so that the community could continue to put in place a proper bid for the building.

“Three weeks is not enough time, we feel we have once again had our feet cut out from under us,” Mrs Judge said.

“The community do not wish to purchase the acreage only the building and we are asking for time to realise a worthwhile project.”

Mrs Judge asked Mr Barilaro to support the community and oppose the blatant money grab.

“Too many public assets have already been sold by your government and for what?” she asked.

“What benefit will Bombala gain?”

The building features high ceilings, gas heating, massive rooms set on stone foundations with lightly timbered areas and four existing buildings.

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