Local scout leaders are feeling “betrayed” after learning that the Cabramurra Scout Hall will be used to house Snowy Hydro Snowy 2.0 workers, following the Scouts removal from the hall this year.
The Scouts have used the hall for 60 years, but they were told they couldn’t lease it any more due to “insurance reasons.”
Then, Snowy Hydro’s Stephanie McKew told ABC radio this week that the 32-bed facility would likely be used for, “contractors and other staff who will need beds in Cabramurra as the Snowy 2.0 Feasibility Study progresses in the region.”
Tumut Scouts Group Leader and Central District Commissioner Riverina responsible for Cabramurra, Damien Reeves, said Snowy Hydro’s actions were “extremely disappointing.”
“Somebody in their chain of command can’t appreciate doing something good for disadvantaged youths,” he said.
“For many kids they can’t afford snow trips to the main resorts. It was a training facility to teach students resilience, get them out of their comfort zone, and turn them into better citizens.”
Snowy Hydro gave the Scouts a sum of money as part of their removal from the hall, which they leased from Snowy Hydro, which Damien described as “the bargain of the century.”
“We spent tens of thousands of dollars on that hall over decades, through fundraising, through grants, lots of people have volunteered a horrendous amount of hours turning that building into what it is – and now they’ve come along and said they will not renew our lease,” he said.
“The Chief Executive has refused to meet Senior Scouts personnel to discuss the situation, and they have just taken the whole thing back. They had no reason to do it, other than their own internal reasons. Scouts have always been very heavily insured, and we’ve never asked Snowy Hydro for anything – we’ve been completely self-sufficient.
“It would take them 300 – 400 thousand dollars to build that hall themselves now, and get it ready to be safe and comfortable for this new lot of workers. Now we have to find somewhere else and raise that kind of money ourselves for a new building.
“If anyone wants to donate for us to build a new facility, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The Snowy 2.0 Feasibility Study is currently underway, and is investigating the best method for the planned expansion of the Snowy Hydro scheme.
It is due to be completed in December this year.
If it goes ahead, the Snowy 2.0 project is predicted to bring 5000 new jobs to the region in its construction phase.