No plans for unused Batlow Forestry Workshop

The former Forestry Workshop in Batlow.

The Forestry Corporation has no current plans for the former Workshop in Batlow, Forestry spokesperson Liz Fowler told the TA Times.

“We don’t currently have a use for the workshop site,” she said.

“At the moment we’re just maintaining it. We don’t have any plans and we’re considering what we might do next.”

The Workshop closed in October last year, with an auction held at the time to sell off the equipment.

In its heyday it employed upwards of 130 people, but that was slowly whittled down over many years to its eventual closure in 2016.

The building, located on the corner of Memorial Avenue and Wakehurst Avenue, Batlow, currently houses a number of traditional fire engines which are used for events such as the Apple Blossom Festival.

The fire engines have received a guarantee from State MP Daryl Maguire that they are to stay in Batlow.

As for other uses for the building, Forestry said they are open to ideas.

“If people had proposals that they wanted to put forward we would consider them, and look at what the potential might be,” Ms Fowler said.

Batlow community leader Keith Dawson said that, short of the Workshop staying open, the ideal use of the building would be to generate new jobs for the town.

“It could be used for a lot of things – the best thing would be to get employers back in there,” he said.

“If the [Snowy Valleys] shire was to be centralised in Batlow it could be a great workshop for them.

“The wish was that it would stay open but the government’s decided to close it up and that’s it, so now we have to try and find a use for it, and find out what the government is actually going to do with it.”

Forestry Corporation Chief Forester Ross Dickson said that any changes in use for the building would be subject to government oversight.

“We certainly want to look after the site and do the best that we can with it but there is a process we have to go through,” he said.