Letters to the editor

HOLD UP: Four beams support the sagging ceiling in Morisset Memorial Hall. Val Badham says council is responsible for the damage. Picture: David Stewart
HOLD UP: Four beams support the sagging ceiling in Morisset Memorial Hall. Val Badham says council is responsible for the damage. Picture: David Stewart

What happened to hall

IT appears Lake Macquarie Council do not have sufficient information from their archives to “get it right”. In response to their remarks (“On shaky ground”, Lakes Mail, November 30) I make the following comments.

Council said it wouldn’t fund repairs to buildings it doesn’t own. Since being heritage listed by council in 2011, the hall has received two grants from council, one for painting the hall, and one for repairing windows.

But council is legally obliged to repair damage caused by its actions.

Council states that they “undertook a full risk assessment prior to the demolition”. If this includes assessing properties adjacent to the demolition area, it certainly did not include our hall. No danger signs were erected reminding people not to use our (much used) walkway beside the old post office building. No safety fencing was initially erected.

Council also said “...the Heritage Assessment indicated pre-existing structural issues with the roof”. The Heritage Assessment roof “issues” are all about installing more modern structuring. There is no mention of any damage in the roof. 

On May 30, 2016, we wrote a letter to council asking them to acknowledge we are locally heritage listed and indicating that we intended to arrange for work to be completed. Council had all the information needed to support our application for a NSW Heritage grant. Instead, they wrote us a letter asking for these details (which arrived too late for us to apply for the grant).

We did not need guidance from council’s heritage support officer. Our letter was very clearly written.

Finally, the structural damage to the ceiling rafters occurred on either July 11 or 12, when the old post office next door was demolished. It is obvious that the very large machines working so close to the hall caused the damage.

- Val Badham, Morisset Memorial Hall

Hard ball with hall

I WAS one of the people present in the Morisset Memorial Hall on July 11 when the old post office building next door was being demolished.

The hall was shaking and rattling, and the noise was deafening. There was no safety fence between the hall and the post office.

When we spoke to the workers undertaking the demolition they informed us they were told the hall was derelict and no longer in use.

Our group has been meeting there virtually every Tuesday for more than 33 years. Most weeks we have young children present, as well as visually impaired people with guide dogs.

The demolition equipment was less than four metres from the side door of the room we use. The ceiling rafters were intact before the demolition commenced. Two days later it was reported that part of the ceiling was damaged, and four rafters compromised.

Council claims the damage to the hall was nothing to do with the demolition – was it just a strange coincidence?

The hall committee had just paid their rates to council – in excess of $10,000 for a community owned/used building. Other councils often waive the payment of rates to community owned facilities. Not ours.

In order to fulfil its plan to create a town centre, council needs the land the hall is on. It certainly appears to be playing hard ball to obtain it.

- Lorraine Banks, Cooranbong

Trinity Point

I FAIL to see how 7000 residents could be affected by maybe two or three helicopter services per day, that approach and disembarked Trinity Point marina (“Choppers still hovering”, Lakes Mail, November 30). Because Trinity Point is on the extreme eastern side of a peninsula, there would rarely ever be the need to fly over housing. Growth and progress is the only way the west side will prosper. Hopefully Trinity Point is just the beginning of more to come.

- Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek