Joel Joel Hall set for major upgrade

The kitchen in the ninety-three year old Joel Joel Hall is set for an upgrade thanks to the Victorian Coalition Government's $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.

Joining Northern Grampians Mayor Cr Kevin Erwin at the hall on Friday, Nationals Member David O'Brien said it was a key meeting place for the local community.

"The hall is used for a variety of functions including monthly pastoral group meetings, local events, FarmPlan 21 groups, annual Christmas carols and various celebrations throughout the year," Mr O'Brien said.

"The hall's kitchen facilities are in need of repair to meet basic hygiene standards.

"This project will rodent-proof and upgrade the kitchen, including new benches, cupboards and drawers to complement the recently installed hot water service and hand washing unit.

"Local tradespeople will be engaged to complete the building works, with the Hall Committee providing in-kind support, including removing dilapidated fittings."

Mr O'Brien said the Coalition Government would provide funding of $4000 towards the $5500 project from the Regional Growth Fund to Joel Joel Public Hall, who will contribute the balance in cash and in-kind.

"The Regional Growth Fund is investing in community-led projects to strategically drive jobs, investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria," Mr O'Brien said.

In Northern Grampians Shire the Regional Growth Fund has provided $3.5 million to 31 projects, leveraging about $5.5 million in total investment.

Mr O'Brien praised the Northern Grampians Shire Councillors and officers and in particular Municipal Recovery Manager Greg Little, for their hard work since the devastating floods in January 2011.

"I'm not sure what it's like at other times, but whenever the Northern Grampians Shire Council comes to government, they always come with a united front," Mr O'Brien said.

"Halls like this are a significant foothole for the community. Firstly to prevent the community from being wiped off the face of this earth and secondly, to rebuild, regrow and repopulate themselves like in days gone by when Joel Joel had its own football team.

"Funding for these projects ensures community halls are not lost, but remain a very strong part of any community."

Mr O'Brien said he was proud to be announcing the $4000 allocation.

"It's not the biggest amount to come out of this Regional Growth Fund, but I am very proud to be delivering this announcement to you nonetheless, as speaking to those who are part of this hall committee, I know it will go a long way."

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