Citizens Club members not sold on move

By Trent Westaway

DOUBTFUL and incredulous opinions filled the Korumburra Senior Citizens Club last Tuesday, as South Gippsland Shire Council’s Ned Dennis pitched a plan to
include the club in the Korumburra
Community Hub project and ultimately
relocate the club.
“This guy wasted his time coming here,” said one of the many unconvinced members of the club, clearly unimpressed with some of the plan’s features and is far from alone in this opinion.
With Korumburra’s township population likely to hit 6000 residents by 2030, few can deny improving existing services and catering for this increased demand is not a bad idea in theory, but human emotion has always been one to complicate matters.
Various other community groups such as the Korumburra Library, Milpara Community House and the local historical society have already agreed to relocate their respective facilities to the future hub.
There are numerous advantages for the senior citizens if they decide to accept the move, such as being located in a modern building that is energy efficient, having a kitchen facility full of brand new equipment that would be maintained by the council and a flat parking area that would no doubt bring convenience and physical benefits for elderly individuals.
“It’s no longer a might happen, it’s a will happen,” Mr Dennis said.
Construction for the hub is set to begin in the next two to three years.
And the community’s chosen Korumburra’s railway land as the best long-term option for the project’s location.
Mr Dennis continued to harp on the potential upside of the relocation and the benefits it will bring for those involved.
“It’s a really good opportunity for the seniors to make their lives easier, and a good way for the service to remain available.”
However, to say not a single member of the Korumburra Senior Citizens Club is sold on this ambitious project is far from an exaggeration, with club secretary Jan McLaren among the most vocal opposers, believing maintenance costs to be irrelevant in their consideration.
“I don’t go along with it, how are old people going to cross that highway?
“The congestion at the T-intersection is dreadful… being in the hub may indeed be less expensive to maintain, but what does it matter?
“That’s what we work for, to look after this place.”
Club president Joy Anderson also voiced her concern regarding the potential relocation.
“You have to think about the feasibility of things, I understand they have to make progress with the town, but you have to consider things like increased struggles for ambulances,” she said.
“This area is far more accessible than up there… the proposed site is also subject to vandalism, being near the railway.”
Sharing building facilities with other community groups is also accompanied by a range of problems, said club treasurer Janne Grenon.
“It’s not going to be any easier for us at all, it’s more convenient down here… you can’t give notice for a funeral service and things like that.”