RSL secures funding to repair valued balcony
by James Poyner
19th November 2018
Photo: Warrandyte RSL Facebook Page
A community grant issued to Warrandyte RSL by Manningham Council will allow the organisation to make urgent structural repairs to the balcony at their property overlooking the War Memorial.
The grant of $25,000, in conjunction with a grant from Warrandyte Community Bank of $12,500 will help the RSL foot the $37,619 bill to make the necessary repairs and reopen the balcony to the public.
“During Anzac Day, we use the balcony to give the elderly and impaired members of the community a good view of the memorial and the ceremony,” Warrandyte RSL president, David Ryan, told the Diary.
“At the last Anzac Day, the [former] Manningham CEO was attending and asked us how safe the balcony was.”
Following a balcony collapse during a Christmas party at a property in East Doncaster, on December 16, 2017 which resulted in two dead and 17 injured, Council’s across Victoria have been looking closely at balcony’s to make sure the tragic event that occurred last Christmas is not repeated.
“A week and a half later, an engineer from Manningham assessed the balcony and issued us with a building notice, instructing us to close the balcony and make the necessary repairs,” said Mr Ryan.
With quotes from builders ranging between $35,000 and $45,000, the next challenge was to secure the funds.
The Warrandyte Community Bank helped them get off the mark, but a large portion of the required funds was still missing.
“The balcony is very important to the social activities at the club, with nice views of the memorial, the bridge and the Yarra, it is a nice place to sit when we have events on.
“But its main use, these days, is to give the elderly and impaired veterans and locals a place to sit and view the Anzac and Remembrance Day ceremonies.
“The RSL is on a very steep hill and it is very hard for them to access a place with a commanding view of the ceremony without the use of the balcony,” he said.
With Remembrance Day centenary, fast approaching and council officer’s report highlighting the important community value of the space, as well as the RSL’s limited resources in raising the necessary funds to pay for the repairs, Council voted in favour of a one-off grant of $25,000 to Warrandyte RSL at their October 23 meeting, with aspirations the repairs might be completed and the balcony reopened for the November 11 ceremony.
Unfortunately, this was not the case.
“We wanted the work to be finished for Remembrance Day, but to do this, we need the builder to start yesterday… we look forward to using the balcony, again, during the summer and at the next Anzac Day.”