PORTLAND now has a permanent base for its men’s shed.
The shed, valued at $127,000, will be built next year on surplus railway land provided by the state government at the corner of Hedditch and Hurd streets.
The government has contributed $60,000 to the project, with community groups committing $60,000 and Glenelg Shire $5000.
Premier and member for South West Coast Denis Napthine said the facility would provide an accessible and central meeting space for local men.
“This will be a space where local men can develop and use new skills, establish social networks or simply to catch up with old mates,” Dr Napthine said.
“The men’s shed movement in many instances has helped save lives. Men often retreat to isolation when they experience loss, whether it be work, mobility issues or the loss of a family member. These sheds can help overcome loneliness and depression and research shows the men’s shed movement has contributed to helping more men be involved in their local community.”
The Portland branch is currently using the former Borthwick’s site as its home and previously its 15 members shared space at Portland’s Neighbourhood House.
Dr Napthine said the club had plans to share the new centre with other community groups and organisations for storage or community meetings.
“Machinery is currently on site clearing and levelling the site to prepare for boundary fencing. Builders are expected to arrive to start construction of the shed by mid January.”
Dr Napthine said Portland was one of six sheds in the south-west, with neighbouring operations in Heywood, Macarthur, Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Crossley.