Contractor begins building Barney Point shed for free
A FIVE-YEAR struggle to build a Gladstone Men's Shed is edging closer to an end, with workers beginning earthworks at the Barney Point site.
The men behind the project are now tipping the project's construction to gain momentum, with Gladstone Men's Shed president Gerry Graham saying he expects most of the 600sqm steel shed to be completed by Christmas.
It will then be fitted out with shelves, workbenches, and all of the other fittings needed in a 600sqm shed, along with awnings, a sealed carpark, fences and a garden early next year.
Well-known Men's Shed backer Bob McCosker, who owns McCosker Contracting, pulled the trigger on the construction this week, mobilising workers and machinery to begin earthworks for free.
And its long-awaited completion is set to be a win for the whole community, with the group giving away whatever its members build to community groups for free.
The new shed is a step up from their current 120sqm Uniting Care premises on Off Street, which the group has used as its temporary premises for the past five years.
Mr Graham said despite the Men's Shed's appreciation to Uniting Care for lending the group the building, they are quickly running out of space for tools or for some new members.
Gladstone Foundation - with money donated by Curtis Island's three LNG plants, Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas, Australia Pacific LNG, and Queensland Curtis LNG - helped fund the project, giving the go-ahead for the transaction last year.
But Mr Graham said he and other members had hit plenty of hiccups in their struggle to find a permanent home.
Problems included the cost, development applications, designs, and much, much more.
"So it's been a long slow process," he said.
But Mr Graham said he was particularly grateful to Gladstone Regional Council, which had provided the Men's Shed with a 30-year free lease on the land.