THE Castlemaine Sports and Community Club will meet in coming weeks to determine new ways to “fight for a community club in Castlemaine.”
Maryborough Highland Society general manager Malcolm Blandthorn confirmed yesterday the proposed venue would not go ahead.
He said the VCAT decision had come as a shock. “It’s been a tough day,” he said. “It (the venue) was going to give the people in Castlemaine a choice, and having it locally owned, using surpluses to the community... It’s a real lost opportunity.”
Castlemaine Sports and Community Club spokesman Ian Braybrook said the group was disappointed by the VCAT ruling but said he was hopeful there were still alternative venue options to be explored.
“We’re in a state of disbelief at the moment,” he said. “There’s a lot of bad feeling around Castlemaine, we’ve been fielding phone calls from angry people all day long.”
About 1570 members living in Castlemaine are signed up to the Sports and Community Club.
Club member Bill Bayliss said without the new poker machine venue the town would go backwards.
“It’s going to be devastating for the community, we’re not progressing,” he said.
“Professional intellectuals have taken over and are dictating how our shire should be run. It’s becoming sleepy hollow here.”