THE push is on again to make the Port Fairy Railway Goods Shed accessible to the public.
At their March meeting in Mortlake last Tuesday, Moyne Shire councillors voted to add $60,000 to its upcoming 2018-19 budget for the partial restoration of the goods shed.
The $60,000 would be used as part of an application from council to Heritage Victoria for $200,000.
If this grant application was not successful, council would delete its $60,000 and the restoration project would be shelved until other external funding was sourced.
The proposed $260,000 restoration project would include making the exterior of the shed safe and accessible to members of the public.
This would make the shed a usable static display with the area around it to be landscaped. The public would still have no access to the interior of the shed.
Councillors voted 5-1 to put up the $60,000, with Jim Doukas the one voice against.
Port Fairy-based councillors Jordan Lockett and Mick Wolfe were part of a group which met to discuss the future of the goods shed in January.
Also at that meeting were community members Genevieve Grant, Martin Syme, Peter Ryan, Ian Bodycoat, Ken Brookes, Reg Harry and Paul Bucci.
At that meeting, information was supplied that $120,000 has already been spent on the goods shed to fix the roof and stumps.
Cr Lockett said finding a practical use for the goods shed had been a long process.
He said he was first on a committee to look into the matter back in 2004 and the time was now right to spend money on bringing the shed up to a reasonable, usable standard.
“It would be great to see it improved,” he said.
Cr Jill Parker also spoke in support of the upgrading of the shed.
“We have not a lot to lose but lots to gain in upgrading this area in the centre of town,” she said.
In the past, some interest has been shown from private enterprise to set up a business in the shed.
The January meeting was told some of the reasons this had not been pursued further was potential tenants had cited concerns including excessive insurance cover, a lack of public toilets and the use of surrounding space for community markets and the carnival in summer.