News

A place to call home

By Robert Muir

Corowa Historic Vehicle and Machinery Club members are elated – they will soon be the formal owners of their ‘home’ at 241 Redlands Road Corowa.

The 23-year-old club has been a tenant since 1998 and its offer of $50,000 to purchase the 10-acre property on Federation Council land was unanimously agreed to at council’s monthly meeting on March 19. 

“It’s something we’ve dreamed about for 10 years,” club president Bill Petzke told The Free Press.

“We’ve been saving up for the possibility. We left raising the subject for a while because of the amalgamation (of Corowa and Urana Shires).”

Formed in 1996, the club comprised a group of about 20 members without a home with tractor and other vehicle owners travelling directly from their houses to gatherings.  

Corowa Historic Vehicle and Machinery Club has had a long association with council - the former Corowa Shire Council and, since May 12, 2016 the Federation Council – and been involved with major community events including the Federation Festival Parade and the Vintage Tractor Pull. There are now 112 members.  

The club paid no rent but was responsible for paying rates, water and electricity as well as maintaining the area.

Council was offered $50,000 for the property and despite the land being valued at $81,000 by the Valuer General, acknowledged the club’s long-time contribution to the community and being a good tenant.

“The land is not currently needed by council for operational purposes other than the section covered by a drainage easement which has open drains located upon it,” Federation Council property officer Ian Rich stated in a report for council’s March meeting.

“The club is seeking to protect the asset which they have built up over the years.

“We thank Federation Council for fulfilling our dream,” Mr Petzke said.