Presidents comments on the meeting at the nursery


commenced 6:00pm 14 January 2015

The well attended meeting last night did not come to any definite conclusions, however it is clear that the Brisbane City Council is determined to put a Men’s Shed on the site. What we did get was the removal of the ridiculous deadlines that were imposed by the Council Officer. Geraldine Knapp has assured us that there will be further negotiations. To this end, Geraldine has proposed that we hold a meeting with just two SOWN Committee, two TGNN, and the Men’s Shed Reps next Monday to have further discussions.

The meeting did give many individuals an opportunity to make their feeling clear to Geraldine Knapp. In general, the view was
: that the Men’s Shed was not wanted at the nursery and that they deserved their own site.

After the meeting myself (Leo Lee), Neil and Geraldine went up to the cottage and discussed possible options for the room that was most suitable for TGNN to occupy. It was agreed that TGNN could keep the front room that overlooks the sales area of the nursery and a new door would be cut through to the veranda. Effectively, the Men’s Shed will occupy the remainder of the cottage. I had always planned to replace the current three door drink fridge, that holds the seed bank, with a cold room which is more energy efficient, I think Geraldine is offering to pay for the cold room.

Eventually the pit toilet will be replaced with two sewered toilets, one being a combined disabled and female toilet. A small extension on the side of the cottage, at the site of the current pit toilet, is proposed to house this facility.

Other possible alterations included building a kitchenette outside, along the wall under the current kitchen facilities. Also, the possibility of moving other facilities to allow the much of the current driveway to be used for nursery facilities was also discussed.

It was agreed that the current location of the SOWN shed would also be the best option for the new shed. This option is to be investigated further.
SOWN would be located into a new shed, in the grounds of TGNN, or on the remainder of the current SOWN block. It would also allow SOWN too build a larger shed, depending on the costs involved. This would allow the proposed seed bank cold room to be housed in the shed with the compressor outside the shed to prevent heat build-up. It was agreed that this should be put to SOWN members to allow them to contribute to this decision or decline the offer. Geraldine suggested that the Men’s Shed members may be willing to undertake the building of the new shed.??!!!

In the past this option had been rejected because SOWN holds a separate lease. However as a new lease would be required for the expansion of the SOWN Nursery site this is now a viable option.

The location of the machine shed at the site of the current SOWN shed, would allow the unloading of materials directly into the facility, without having to traverse the nursery, lowering the possibility of contamination from woody materials. This location would also help to lower noise levels entering the nurseries.

My last concern relates to the attitude of the Men’s Shed members at our first meeting, Geraldine assures me this has been addressed. In the long term this has the potential to do the most damage to the retention of nursery volunteers. I intend to express my personal disappoint to the Men’s Shed representatives at our next meeting and let them know this type of attitude will not be tolerated at the nursery. Volunteers do not have to be exposed to personal bulling. I have every intention of making clear to the Men’s Shed members that they will be operating in a workspace that is numerically dominated by females and they need to behave appropriately at all times.

There is still a lot of negotiation and fine tuning to occur. Don’t lose heart and please don’t give up on your contributions to this situation, it is not all over till it is over.