West Tamar Council rescinds decision to sell Rowella Hall

NOT FOR SALE: The hall hosted events such as the Festival of Small Halls and Garage Sale Trail in 2017. Picture: Paul Scambler
NOT FOR SALE: The hall hosted events such as the Festival of Small Halls and Garage Sale Trail in 2017. Picture: Paul Scambler

The West Tamar Council rescinded its decision to sell the Rowella Community Hall at its February meeting.

In April 2017, the council voted to put the hall on the market, due to irregular use of the council property. 

An attempt to raise community interest in the hall was also unsuccessful, according to the corporate manager David Gregory.

However, the formation of the Rowella Community Hall Committee in August has lead to a rejuvenation of hall activities. 

“A lot of people [in the committee] are really good at organising stuff and a lot of them bring a lot of enthusiasm,” hall booking manager Stephanie Taylor said.

“We’re a part of the Garage Sale trail and we’ve hosted the opening night of the Festival of Small Halls. 

“I ran into one of the performers [Claire Ann Taylor] and she said it was the best hall she’d performed in [during the festival].”

Additionally, the group also runs regular Friday social nights and one-off activities. 

Ms Taylor said she was shocked when she first read about the council’s decision in The Examiner. 

“I was very angry and one of the reasons we weren’t getting bookings is because we weren’t getting people brought to us by council,” she said.

“Communication has improved now and we’re back on track.”

West Tamar mayor Christina Holmdahl said the council ran public forums and listed public notices about a potential sale, with no community interest forthcoming. 

“It was never our aim to be an antagonist in this situation,” Cr Holmdahl said.

“We believe we took all the right steps in terms of communication, but unfortunately our message wasn’t heeded. 

“I think the whole of council recognises the tremendous progress the new committee has made in the short time they have got together.”

Ms Taylor noted the importance of the hall for Rowella. 

“We have nothing else in this area – no shops, just the fire brigade and the hall,” Ms Taylor said. 

“Plenty of people use the halls grounds, the playground, some people drive up to the carpark and go for a walk from there – it’s our essential hub.”