The groups keen to see the former Mudgee TAFE site become a community hub, have ramped up their campaign by writing to Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders, with the MP also hopeful of a favourable outcome.
The Mudgee Concert Band, Mudgee Performing Arts Society (MPAS), and University of the Third Age (U3A) see the facility's potential to house rehearsals, meetings, classes and storage for the groups and community users. And would like to see the site - which is owned by the NSW Government - handed over to Council for community use.
The biggest of the groups is U3A, with a membership of over 200. At the organisation's recent annual general meeting, MPAS president David McLennan encouraged them to write to Mr Saunders in aid of the campaign, as the site fits the bill for their purposes.
"That site hasn't been used now for a number of years - after TAFE went out to AREC - it has a large number of rooms and the newer parts at the back are in good condition, and have aspects such as air conditioning, chairs and desks," he said.
"In all essence they are classrooms, which require a minimum level of effort to get them up to a usable state.
"There are three organisations that would like to use it - MPAS, Mudgee Concert Band, and Mudgee and District U3A. And U3A with their 217 members is the biggest group."
Mr Saunders, who was in Mudgee earlier this week, said, "I've been supportive of this all the way through, it's just a matter of these things taking a bit of time to sort out - from a paperwork point of view, who has the right to do what and how".
"I've been talking to the Property Minister and her department for a while about the possibility of using the old TAFE site for community organisations. I've also been working with the Minister for Skills around what we can do, and I'm still really positive that there can be a really good outcome for the community," he said.
"All of this stuff takes a little bit of time, but it's something that I'm still pushing really hard to make sure can be a community asset. I'm aware that there's concern around vandalism, when a building is left unused for a while that people unfortunately start to take advantage of that.
"But hopefully, sooner rather than later, we'll have some good news on that."
Mudgee District U3A is a voluntary, not-for-profit organisation that uses a variety of locations to offer their 35 classes. Currently their main venue is the Adams Street Complex meeting room, which allows 15 people and has limited parking.
The NSW government offered the site to Council in 2018, but at market price, which was too expensive. The groups would like to see it given to the community for a token price, similar to the purchase of the former Cudgegong Shire chambers for $1.
Mr McLennan said this would be an investment in tomorrow.
"If you consider Mudgee as a town well into the future, the decisions that we make now as groups will have an impact that lasts forever," he said.
"If it's sold off and developed into real estate, it's gone forever. If we make it a home for community groups, we will have made a very good decision for the future of Mudgee.
"The same way that Lawson Park is an integral part of Mudgee and was never developed, so too having that old TAFE site there permanently as a home for community groups, will be a very important thing."
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