AUSTRALIA – Halls in Tawonga, Harrietville, Tallangatta and Cooryong will share in close to $2 million of state and federal grants through the Local Economic Recovery program.
President of the Tallangatta Memorial Hall Committee of Management Norm Crisp has not stopped celebrating since the news came.
“It was so good I was ready to have champagne on my cornflakes this morning,” he said.
The Tallangatta Memorial Hall was used as an evacuation centre during last year’s bushfires and provided a refuge for people in need.
“We then became the brick wall for all the people who were leaving the Corryong area.
“They had somewhere to lean on and all the emergency services, as in police, Department of Human Services, Veterans Affairs, Salvation Army chaplains, they all set up in the hall to offer some type of help to all these people who were quite distraught at the time.”
Mr Crisp said while the hall was well set up to cater to the needs of people during the bushfires, after the event they looked at how it could be improved.
The Tallangatta Hall has received just over $250,000, and Mr Crisp said it could be used now or saved in case of future emergencies.
“The hall is an important part of any community,” he said.
Federal Independent Member for Indi Helen Haines said the funding would make the halls fit for purpose should they be needed in another emergency.
“Those community halls were just crucial during the fires as emergency refuge centres, so they’re going to get a well-deserved polish up,” Dr Haines said.
“And importantly to make them really wonderful places to go for celebrations and events.”