28 October 2019

More money for 'Old Old Bega Hospital' restoration plus other local projects

| Ian Campbell
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John Reynolds, from Friends of the Old Bega Hospital, selling raffle tickets at Raise the Roof. Photo: Ian Campbell.

John Reynolds (with face painted!) from Friends of the Old Bega Hospital, selling raffle tickets at Raise the Roof. Photo: Ian Campbell.

The Old Old Bega Hospital will rise from the ashes of the 2004 fire that destroyed its roof, with the NSW Government announcing further funds, closing a funding gap in the restoration ambitions.

The announcement coincided with the annual ‘Raise the Roof – Spring Fair’ fundraising event organised by the Friends of the Old Bega Hospital yesterday – October 27.

Member for Bega Andrew Constance says, “The Old Bega Hospital Reserve Trust should now be able to finalise the full restoration of the building destroyed by fire in 2004, returning the main building for use as a community and cultural centre.”

The extra $463,100 adds to the $3 million announced in February.

The news is part of a $631,000 package for a number of other Bega Valley projects announced by Mr Constance.

The investment includes:

• $463,100 toward repairs on the main building at the heritage-listed Old Bega Hospital to repair damage caused by a fire in 2004.

• $19,800 to replace the outer fence at Candelo Showground with a new stock safe metal fence.

• $41,000 towards the construction of a roof over spectator seating beside the main ring at Cobargo Showground to replace temporary tarpaulin shelter roofs and provide greater safety and comfort for showground visitors.

• $17,666 toward upgrading the rotunda and amenities block at Bemboka Showground.

• $1,737 to go to signs, a fire pit and barbecue at Tantawangalo Recreation Reserve.

• $88,166 will also be invested in weed control on Crown reserves across the region.

“The new fence at Candelo Showground will improve the showground’s appearance and ensure cattle and horses are kept safely and securely, protecting animals taking part in events like the Candelo Campdraft, Candelo Show, and Equestrian Australia and pony club clinics,” Mr Constance says.

“The Cobargo Showground will benefit from shade covering over spectator areas and Bemboka Showground will have their rotunda and amenities upgraded.

“Tantawangalo Trust will get a refreshed picnic area in the reserve including a map of the reserve and recreation spaces which will be displayed on-site for visitors and information boards and erected at the picnic area with information on local history and native vegetation.”

Andrew Constance [center] surveys the damaged Old Bega Hospital with Claire Lupton [left] and Pat Jones [right] from Friends of the Old Bega Hospital. Picture: Elka Wood

John Reynolds from Friends of the Old Bega Hospital says the group’s ambitions are finally becoming a reality.

“To get the building back to what it was before the fire will be very rewarding for the hard work of many over the years,” John says while selling raffle tickets at Raise the Roof.

“The history of this place is so important, that’s why I am here.”

The money raised from fairs, trivia nights, cake stalls, and raffles over the years will help provide the finishing touches once the roof and floor go in.

The dedicated group of ‘Friends’ are keen to get going and say they are ‘shovel ready’.

Asked by Region Media about the timelines around the funding, Mr Constance says, “Administrative and funding arrangements are in the process of being confirmed for this important community project.”

“I hope that we could look to finalise these arrangements before the New Year and get the project underway.”

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