The Batlow Development League held a “very productive” meeting last week, said League Chair Ray Billing.
Uncertainty surrounding the status of the Tumut-Tumbarumba merger had created difficulty for community progress groups, but Mr Billing said now that an announcement has been made it’s full steam ahead for Batlow.
“We’ll be inviting council officials to our next meeting to see how we can best work with the Interim Council, now that the state government has announced the amalgamation will stick,” he said.
“We’re focused on the priorities for Batlow. So that’s the streetscape – things like gutters, pavements, infrastructure, and so on – and a general tidying up of the town.”
The Snowy Valleys Council, at the beginning of this year, changed the zoning for much of the Batlow CBD, including the site of the much-maligned old cannery site.
Previously the site occupied an industrial zone, meaning it could only be used for industrial activity, but that has now been changed to mixed zoning status – meaning that the land could be adapted for a whole variety of things.
“It’s the perfect time to do it,” said Mr Billing of the push to remove or at least adapt the old cannery building, which many believe is an eyesore.
The Development League is involved in the Batlow CiderFest, Apple Blossom Festival, and Batlow Literary Institute.
The Literary Institute is in the process of booking tradespeople to commence works on their upgrade, after they secured a $276,000 grant from the state government in October last year.
Meanwhile, bookings are already coming through for this year’s CiderFest, and Mr Billing is particularly excited about the Tent Town.
The town involves tents that have already been set up that people can rent for the festival, as accommodation with a twist.
“Three or four people can stay in a tent, so for young people especially it’s a bit of fun,” he said.
“We encourage anyone who’s thinking of coming up who doesn’t have accommodation to stay in the tent town.
“There will also be a lot more shuttles running to Batlow this year, but I advise that people book the shuttles early if they know they’ll be needing one, which can be done through our website (www.batlowciderfest.com.au).
“It’s shaping up to be a really good event.”