Despite a petition containing 138 signatures and a further 30 individual letters requesting Moira Shire Council restore the Tungamah Court House, councillors have voted to relinquish management of the historic building.
Cr Peter Mansfield recommended at a recent meeting that the “DELWP be advised the Moira Shire Council no longer wishes to be the Committee of Management of the Tungamah Court House”; Cr Don McPhee seconded the motion.
Cr Mansfield also recommended the shire’s licence of the Numurkah Court House not be renewed when the current term expired on March 1, 2016.
Both points were passed unanimously.
“The Tungamah Court House is in a state of disrepair and DELWP have refused any money to rectify the situation,” Cr Mansfield said.
“The Numurkah Court House is in good condition but doesn’t belong to us.
“It is imperative of us to review the ownership of buildings and if we can give back buildings because of rate capping it is pertinent of us to do this.”
The recommendation came almost 12 months to the day after council voted unanimously to consider providing a “part contribution” to funding repair work on the Tungamah Court House in the 2015/16 budget; this decision was made after Moira Shire received the petition and accompanying letters.
The petition called for council to act as quickly as possible to do repair work to the Tungamah Court House and enable access to the building as it was the home to the community’s museum.
Cr McPhee said at the 2015 meeting the shire did not have many historical buildings left.
“What we’ve got we should treasure,” Cr McPhee said.
“We should make a contribution and support our community in this endeavour.
“It certainly is a worthwhile building to restore.
“Tungamah is a tourism gem and this building is part of that.”
Cr Brian Keenan also spoke in favour of restoring the township’s beloved building saying the court house was the “flagship” building of Tungamah.
“As soon as something looks ten years old we knock it down but I strongly support restoring this as a legacy for future generations,” he said.