By Vanessa Parker
King Charles III had the RAF Red Arrows flyover after his Coronation, and when the Minister for Youth officially opened the new Ballan Scout Hall facility, there was a very Australian flyover.
A flock of noisy, squawking cockatoos briefly interrupted the speech of Natalie Suleyman MP with the Minister saying, “this must be a bit of a welcome”.
Minister Suleyman said the new 1st Ballan Scouts facility was not just a hall.
“… but a place where family and friends can come along and make lifelong friendships and learn all sorts of skills, not just tying knots or camping out in the bush,” she said.
“The Ballan Scout Hall received a contribution of $500,000 from the Victorian Government, to make sure it will be a suitable venue for Scouts well into the future.”
The Scouts moved into what was, the old Guides Hall in Inglis Street a few years ago and outgrew that very quickly.
Tony Bellette is the Group Leader at 1st Ballan Scouts and told the Moorabool News the organisation had 45 youth members with eight leaders.
“This is just phenomenal to have this facility,” he said.
“It has allowed us to create new programs for the members, giving us a permanent home.
“We have more space now and this will also benefit the kids and help with their education in the scouting movement.”
The large crowd in attendance listened to a string of political speeches with the Member for Eureka saying she will keep this short “as you are at risk of death by a thousand political speeches”.
“There are a lot of us here, and I have to say this has been a long, long journey,” Michaela Settle said.
“The first announcement was way back in 2018 when I was first elected and, it has been a long time coming out of the ground with a lot of hard work by a lot of different people in the community to get where we are.”
The Scout Hall is a multi-use facility for the Ballan community to enjoy with improvements including accessible bathrooms, improved parking, modern kitchen facilities and several multipurpose rooms.
Moorabool Mayor Cr Rod Ward said everyone who has played a part in the new facility can be very proud.
“Great things can be achieved by working together, that is proven here and we are happy to have played a very small part in achieving this dream for the local Ballan Scouts group,” he said.
The Commonwealth Government also contributed $550,000 through the Building Better Regions Fund with, Moorabool Shire Council contributing $100,000 by their Community Development Grants.
To join the 1st Ballan Scouts you must be aged from five years old up until the age of 18.