Council offers helping hand

MEMBERS of the Griffith Shed for Men will continue their struggle for a cup of tea at smoko after bad news from council last week.

Despite their strong support for the community group, councillors were unanimous in their rejection to waive a $9000 loan that would have been reinvested into renovating the facility's dilapidated kitchen.

In a compromise council agreed to delay debt repayments for 12 months with no extra interest, and offered to help the group apply to other grant schemes.

Mayor John Dal Broi said nobody doubted the tremendous impact the organisation made to the lives of the 83 members, but similar community groups would form a queue stretching out his door if the debt was simply cancelled.

"Whilst we couldn't help them financially, we have deferred any payments for 12 months without interest, and in the meantime I'll go knocking on a couple of state and federal minister's doors to see if we can rustle up some funds to help them out," Mr Dal Broi said. "They're not in a financial pickle but as you can imagine such a small kitchen for 83 members is very tough.

"The men's shed provides a great outlet for local men, especially once they've retired, because there is only so much TV you can watch."

Founding president Greg McCarten said the men's shed was more popular than ever putting added strain on the tiny kitchen.

"The basic problem is we've got a pretty decrepit old kitchen and we've got a lot more blokes coming in to use it," Mr McCarten said.

"We've got a few chaps who can't do much work in the shed but they like to help in the kitchen by keeping it spic and span so we'll hang in there and see what comes up."

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