Braidwood's Gumtree Cottage spared from bulldozer

(L-R) Lynda Avery, Cathy Ffrench, Rhyll Tozer, Maria Bakas, Helen Small, David Avery and David Archbold on-site at Gumtree Cottage's new location
(L-R) Lynda Avery, Cathy Ffrench, Rhyll Tozer, Maria Bakas, Helen Small, David Avery and David Archbold on-site at Gumtree Cottage's new location

Gumtree Cottage, a former staff accommodation building in the Braidwood Health Service, has been spared demolition.

The cottage has been donated to the Braidwood Life Centre for use as emergency accommodation for community members.

President of the Braidwood Life Centre, David Avery, said this was wonderful news.

"The council hasn't approved the DA yet," he said on a cautious note, "but we've been told they will deal with it as soon as possible."

The cottage has been relocated from the hospital grounds to the grounds of St Andrews Anglican Church, where it will undergo a refit to make it suitable for crisis and emergency accommodation.

"It will mainly be for families or people who are in urgent need of housing, but in a local emergency situation such as a fire, it can also be used for evacuees if necessary," Mr Avery said.

The main works contractor for the Braidwood Multipurpose Service (MPS) Redevelopment, Richard Crookes Constructions (RCC), has donated Gumtree Cottage to the Life Centre.

Braidwood Health Service Manager Patricia Hemler said Southern NSW Local Health District was delighted to see Gumtree Cottage re-purposed to help community members in need.

Cottage relocated

Cottage relocated

"We are so grateful for the opportunity to re-purpose the building for the Braidwood community as it has played such an important role in the local health service. While we no longer need the cottage, it's great to see it being used for such a worthwhile cause," Ms Hemler said.

RCC Project Manager David Archbold, said Richard Crookes Constructions actively seeks to help the local communities they work in and were very happy the Braidwood Life Centre reached out to the team to see if they could use Gumtree Cottage.

"With each project we also aim to help local charities or community groups, so we were very thankful for the opportunity to provide Gumtree Cottage as a donation and to help relocate it to the Braidwood Anglican Church grounds," Mr Archbold said.

"A lot of time and effort has gone into moving the building, with the team sourcing the original drawings from the manufacturer in order to successfully relocate it to the new site."

David Avery extended the thanks of the Life Centre to all those who enabled the cottage to be moved and re-purposed.

"Thanks to Richard Crookes Construction for their generosity in donating the cottage," Mr Avery said.

"Jamie Crookes and his wonderful team of employees have contributed significantly to making the hope of having an emergency accommodation centre in Braidwood to a reality."

He also extended thanks to Bolj from Koala Contracting for donating his time to install the stumps for the cottage and to the Anglican Parish of Braidwood who "unanimously gave approval to use their land to house the cottage."

The Braidwood MPS Redevelopment and RCC would like to extend a special thank you to Canberra based RAR Group for donating a mobile crane and transporting each demountable to their new home, and to the Braidwood Life Centre for their forward thinking.

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