13 August, 2022
Heritage site one step closer to community self-sufficiency
FROM a Heritage-listed site intertwined with monstrous figs on the side of the highway to a place of education, the Mount Molloy Boiler Block Benefit Committee has taken another step in creating a more self-sufficient community.
Last year, the Boiler Block committee formed from a group of Mount Molloy locals, with the desire and passion to turn the old JM Johnston Sawmill into a covered space where the community can gather and speak on important topics in the small town.
In order to make this vision a reality, the group applied for grants to help obtain the independent facilities they needed.
Through the Gambling Community Benefit Fund, they have received $9,000 to purchase a portable toilet facility and trailer to help further establish the heritage site and help with other local community groups.
Boiler Block committee president John Brisbin said that with these utilities, community members would be able to access bathrooms easier and transport goods with less stress.
“There are lots of elderly people within the committee and wider community who can’t carry heavy things (to and from events) so this trailer will really help when we have educational events,” he said.
“The toilets will also be helpful at events, so instead of people walking a mile down the road to access a toilet there will be one on site.
“We also plan to hire it out to other Mount Molloy community groups at ‘mates’ rates’ to help out with their events.”
The boiler block is a testament to the community’s self-sufficiency and now the committee is ready to regain their independence by hosting events within the single acre sawmill, and having these facilities is a step forward in that goal.
The old sawmill and smelter was where most locals worked in the early days, with the timber industry booming during 1914 and the community banding together to deliver the goods across the region.
Although being burnt down three times whilst in its lifetime, the steam plant of the old mill still stands today on the side of the Mulligan Highway as you enter Mount Molloy heading north.
After becoming Heritage-listed in 2011, Mr Brisbin said the old boiler block had little maintenance over the years as the town lost self-sufficiency and began to rely on the “big cities”.
“The remains are sitting there on the side of the road and it looked just like a wreck sitting there until we had someone purchase the block,” he said.
“We are still paying back for the block and we have set up non-for-profit fundraisers to help us create the facility and help Mount Molloy become more self-sufficient.”
For more on the Boiler Block Committee and their goals, visit the websitewww.boilerblock.com.au