Minutes of the Harcourt Progress Association Inc
General Public Meeting at Goldfields Track Café, Harcourt
Wednesday 15th February, 2017


Robyn Miller, David Heath, Jacqueline Brodie-Hanns, Sue Albert, Jill Loorham, Sha Cordingley, Richard Baxter, Mek Yimanes, Kay Francis, Graeme Francis, Paul Northam, Dianne Cork (Heritage Centre), Garry Selwood (Lions), Grant Victor-Gordon (Lions), David, Lois Denham, Geoff Denham, Garry Pearson, Karyn Maguire, Marie Twyford (CWA), Lyn Rule (CWA), Sue Albert, Helen Grainger, Tyrone Rice (CFA), Ray Rice, Robyn Yeoward, Sandy Reid, Andy Graham, Melva Graham, Kendall Gibson, David Ling, Donna McMahon, Paul Mizzi, Vicki Polgase

Apologies: Ayron Teed, Des Jenkin


Jacqueline provided an overview of the status of the engagement with VicTrack and the community aspiration (identified in the Harcourt Community Plan) to establish a community hub. Meetings have taken place with MASC, Maree Edwards, VicTrack and HPA.

Welcome to Jean Parson, VicTrack – Community Building Manager, Property Group. Jean oversees the Community Use of Vacant Rail Buildings program which is focused on vacant assets and property portfolio. VicTrack have 40 vacant buildings identified; 16 have been delivered to community use through this program, another 3 being delivered under this financial year. They have a facilities maintenance team to help preserve buildings

Harcourt station is State listed with Heritage Victoria, special obligations to maintain the building. (Avoca station similarly listed) It is an unique building in having 2 stories, 2 rooms upstairs, 6 downstairs

Minister has directed the site to be prioritized so this is due to be delivered in the 2017 / 2018 year.

The proposal needs to identify how it will generate revenue and cover costs of operation including rates (council may choose to waive these) fire services levy, water, electricity, PLI insurance, content insurance (Building insurance is provided by VicTrack). VicTrack operate as a commercial operator however rental fees are very low for community use.

Victrack prefer to enter head lease with local government however there are 50% cases where non-council entities have taken on the lease. In some instances, Bendigo community bank have agreed to take on head lease. Other examples include Creative Clunes who run Clunes Booktown; Beauford interactive steam museum; Dunkeld, Chiltern, Inglewood & District Health Services, Workspace

Some tailored fit out is possible but generic use is preferred. Disabled access including disabled toilets and accessible kitchen will be provided. Floor plan is determined collaboratively with council and community groups. No residential use is permitted.

IDEAS FOR USE: Men’s shed – community garden, Maldon Community Bank – potential partner / lease holder, Allied health services, CWA and Lions meeting rooms, art space / exhibition space Community arts has dominated 15 of the 18 sites.

ACTION: Jacqueline to send out the information sheet, HPA to lodge nomination form and continue to work with local community and council to progress these opportunities.

Many thanks to Jean for taking the time to visit and meet with Harcourt residents.


a) Pedestrian crossing petition being submitted next week at the Council meeting.

b) Proposal to establish a Town Beautification Working Group comprised of Sha, Paula, Kaye, Andrew M. Group to sign up to Keep Victoria Beautiful ADOPT A ROADSIDE program and meeting with Vic Roads. Investigate signage options for entrances.

c) MASC budget submission – HPA to submit request for further financial support for town centre including playground.

d) Irrigation Project – David spoke about the planning obstructionism encountered throughout the process of dealing with Stanley Park Nth. We are wasting our time with the council officers – we need to push through Councillors

e) Community playground – Sue Albert and Mek Yimanes have expressed interest in assisting. Proposal to re-purpose the Irrigation grant to advance the playground proposal.–Discussions to be had with CEO and Cr Cordy, and also MPs.

f) Recommended that we pursue MASC community grants for business plan for the Train Station.

g) Community catering kit – This project has stalled with 2 out of 3 grants still to be expended. John identified issues of how this process was handled and how this might impact on further working groups and sub-committees. Sha spoke to the dynamic of the working group and issues in resolving difficult decisions. The Steering COM honored the spirit of the catering kit and were very grateful for the energy and effort made by members of the working group. David Heath has been asked to evaluate the process to help inform and improve the function and operations of future working groups.

h) Upcoming events: Applefest: Saturday 11th March; Easter Egg Hunt: Sunday 16th April

Meeting closed 9.15pm.

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