[By Sue Bolton] There was a great Merlynston community gathering on August 6 to celebrate the community finally winning council support for the restoration of the historic Merlynston Progress Hall. As happened in many parts of Australia where Progress Associations existed last century, many community halls were built and paid for by ordinary working class people without any government support.
Over the years, many of these facilities have been sold off. If the Merlynston community hadn’t taken up the battle over the last 8 years, it’s highly likely that the council would have ended up selling the land.
In the Latrobe Valley, the SEC workers paid for the building of the Moe hospital, only to have it sold off by the Kennett government in the 1990s.
The Merlynston victory is a victory for their community and a a victory for ALL communities which are fighting to save their community facilities from being sold off and lost to the community. Thanks to Jerry Galea for this photo and all the other photos on the night. Photo from the Save Merlynston’s Progress Hall Facebook.