Generic image. Photo: Pollymiss Photography
Generic image. Photo: Pollymiss Photography

One factor that could hold up Maranoa gaming hub

THE Maranoa Gaming Community’s bold idea to transform the old Roma Neighbourhood Centre into a youth hub is gaining traction, but there could be a major hurdle before the project comes to fruition.

Maranoa Regional Council discussed whether to approve the 12 month trial of a new gaming and youth hub, in a bid to help reduce crime.

But in the ordinary meeting on November 25, it was raised that there were electrical issues with the building that may need to be addressed before it’s considered safe for use.

The airconditioning could also be impacted, which would be an issue given the scorching Roma weather during summertime.

Councillor Cameron O’Neil said it won’t be a good look on council if the 27 aircon units aren’t working, if the building is needed over the summer period.

“It’s not a very good look that council is providing a youth drop-in centre, to occupy the building, due to increased temperatures,” Cr O’Neil said.

“Maybe we do need to get all the aircons tested.”

Councillor Geoff McMullen said all aircons will need to be tested, even if they’re not working, to make sure they are not “at fault”.

Councillor John Birkett said some local businesses may be willing to donate items, such as aircons, when they get word that this initiative is aimed at reducing youth crime.

“I think the sooner we can get this happening, the better,” he said.

Councillor Johanne Hancock expressed her concerns over the legality of using a building with potential electrical faults.

“I am not trying to prolong this and I think it’s a great initiative,” Cr Hancock said.

“But, I actually want to know, so I can make my decision, can we legally lease out a building without our due diligence?”

Mayor Tyson Golder replied saying that the council should perform safety inspections there to ensure it is safe, but appliances like aircons do not necessarily need to be in working order.

The Maranoa Gaming Community is only planning on using part of the building (the ‘newer section’) and will cover most of the operational costs.

The council voted unanimously to approve the 12 month trial from early 2021, as well as do inspections and minor works to the facility.

Councillor George Ladbrook was absent.


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