New Kiah Hall fit for future generations and officially open

Official opening of the Kiah Hall with (L-R) Bega Valley Shire Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick, Member for Bega Dr Michael Holland, Friends of Kiah Hall Committee member John Thorpe and Federal Member for Eden-Monaro, Kristy McBain

27 May 2024

Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories and Member for Eden-Monaro, Kristy McBain and Member for Bega, Dr Michael Holland joined Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Russell Fitzpatrick to officially open the Kiah Hall today.

Mayor Fitzpatrick said Council has worked very closely with the local community to rebuild a fit-for-purpose community hall that will meet community needs and resilience now and into the future.

“The original historic hall was much-loved and well-used by the community of Kiah and its surrounding areas before it was destroyed in the devastating Black Summer bushfires,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.

“Since that day, there was never a doubt in anyone’s mind the hall would be rebuilt, providing an environmentally sustainable, multipurpose space that paid homage to the past and was accessible to all members of the community.

“The new hall has been built on the adjoining lot to the original hall, providing an ideal setting given its location on the crest of the hill and its proximity to other facilities in the precinct.

“Sadly, this was only possible because Our Lady of the Princes Highway Church was also destroyed in the bushfires and the land offered for sale by the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn.

“Council acquired this parcel of land with the help of numerous fundraising activities by the Kiah Hall Committee and its supporters.

“The many public consultation sessions resulted in community members and stakeholders contributing to the development of the project design brief and specifications, providing feedback on architect design concepts and agreeing to the final concept for the build.”

The Kiah Hall rebuild project received funding of $1.348 million under the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery (BLER) package, which is co-funded by the Australian and NSW governments for bushfire recovery, response and preparedness in NSW.

Federal Member for Eden-Monaro, Kristy McBain said projects like the rebuilding of Kiah Hall help us recover from Black Summer’s devastating bushfires by returning a much loved and needed focal point for community events and activities.

“The new Kiah Hall is a sight to behold and a true reflection of active community involvement in the development of something very precious to them and future generations.

“It’s a meaningful investment in partnership with the Australian and NSW governments, Bega Valley Shire Council and the community of Kiah and surrounding areas.”

Member for Bega, Dr Michael Holland said community halls provide an important hub for residents of all ages to come together, connect with friends, be entertained and have fun.

“We know events and programs that take place in community halls activate relationships, enhance social connectedness, reduce loneliness and support individuals to be physically and mentally active,” Dr Holland said.

“I congratulate the community on coming together to design a hall that will service the needs of a very active and social community, as well as being resilient to the impacts of any future natural disaster.”

The Kiah Hall project is being managed in parallel with the rebuild project for Wandella Hall in the north of the shire which was also destroyed during Black Summer fires. It is expected Wandella Hall will be officially opened in late June.

/Public Release. View in full here.