By Vinnie Rodi

THE Alcheringa Scout Group now has “room to grow” according to Scout Leader and founder Steven Munro, PICTURED, after they struck a deal with Wentworth Shire Council to take over the former ‘U Can Do It’ boxing gym site in Buronga.

The disused and abandoned building has been the target of vandalism in recent months, with the move proving a win-win for both the Alcheringa Scout Group and the Shire.

In fact, Mr Munro could barely contain his excitement during a recent catch-up with the Mildura Weekly, saying the site opened up a number of opportunities.

He said, for now, the site would act as a storage area, while also doubling as a marshalling point for certain outdoor activities.

“The site backs on to some bushland near the now disused Buronga Scout Hall, so the location is perfect,” he said. “It’s a site that will also allow us to grow.”

Mr Munro said the group is working with Wentworth Shire Council to repair the building, while also addressing certain safety and security concerns.

“Council has been really good in helping us get access to the site,” he said. “There’s still a few minor things that need to be fixed before we can move in.

“It’s a work in progress, and we’re really thankful for Council’s help and support.”

The building had fallen into disrepair since U Can Do It ceased operating from the site, with Wentworth Shire running a community Expression of Interest process to seek ideas from locals about how the site could be used.

Ultimately the Alcheringa Scout Group’s plans for the site won out.

The Group’s main headquarters is located at the Gol Gol Public School, with the Alcheringa Scout Group having only been in existence for the past two years.

The group currently has 26 members ranging from ages seven to 14, and was established by Mr Munro – who is a long-time Scout.

“Back in my day we had the Buronga Scout Group, which unfortunately has been inactive since the late 1990s,” he said. “I could see a real need for a Scout group to be reformed to cater to the Buronga/Gol Gol area, and the support has been sensational.”

Mr Munro said the Victorian-affiliated group welcomed all-comers.

“I’ve been involved in Scouts since I was eight-years-old, and have kids myself who want to get involved in Scouts,” he said. “We welcome anyone with an interest.”

Wentworth Mayor Melisa Hederics said Council was proud to be supporting the Alcheringa Scout Group’s plans to utilise the old gym

“By having an active, community-orientated group such as the Alcheringa Scout Group using this facility, Council hopes we can not only support an important local group, but also prevent any further degradation of this site,” she said.

“Helping facilitate the Alcheringa Scout Group’s move into the old gym illustrates how important Council believes it is to support groups and activities that are tailored to young people across our region.”

Cr Hederics also confirmed that Council would conduct some works to help improve security at the site.

Council will also waive an annual rental fee of $200 in recognition of upgrade works the Scout group intends to undertake at the building. Mr Munro said the group was also investigating opportunities to re-name the building once they take ownership.

“We’ve secured the site for the next five years, so there’s plenty of time to make it home,” he said.

More information about the Alcheringa Scout Group is available by contacting Mr Munro on 0499 777 692, or email steven_munro@bigpond.com.