BATTLE LOOMS: Sunshine Valley Men’s Shed wants the council to make good on land donated by Ray Grace.
BATTLE LOOMS: Sunshine Valley Men’s Shed wants the council to make good on land donated by Ray Grace. Warren Lynam

OPINION: Council’s insult to generosity on Men's Shed land

IT SEEMS inconceivable Sunshine Coast Council could enter an arrangement to oversee as custodian the gift of a parcel of land meant to assist the mental health of older residents, and then impose "policy" as the reason for not delivering on the intent of the donor.

That donor, Ray Grace, is a respected former business leader who has used his retirement principally in the service of the community.

He wanted to provide a permanent home for the Sunshine Valley Men's Shed.

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As Mr Grace said yesterday: "The land was given to it on the specific basis that it be for the Men's Shed forever."

The council first offered the Men's Shed only a nine-year lease conditioned by a requirement the space be shared with other groups approved by the council who would be the sole dispute arbiter.

The council has backed away from that position to now offer a 10x10 year lease with no requirement to share but that still falls way short of Mr Grace's expectation.

It's the council's response to questions about this issue that speaks to the heart of its governance was from a "spokesman".

The assertion that "if the land was intended to be given in perpetuity then Mr Grace could have given the land directly to the Men's Shed" is at odds with the facts known to all parties.

The attitude behind those words insults a wonderful show of generosity and community spirit and can only serve to discourage others to follow Mr Grace's example.


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