Community house reveals operational struggles amid redevelopment proposal

February 1, 2024 BY

Anglesea Community House president Beth Davidson and operations coordinator Julie Martin out the front of the house's building. Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

AN ANGLESEA Community Precinct tenant is urging the local community to make their suggestions heard as part of a proposed redevelopment initiated by the Surf Coast Shire.

The Anglesea Community House (ACH) has stated upgrades are “vital” for the future of its “much needed, highly valued” local services in response to the Shire’s Anglesea Community and Health Hub Precinct Plan on McMillan Street.

ACH president Beth Davidson said the lack of appropriate facilities and its sizing constraints were hindering the house’s ability to meet community demand.

“This is the only childcare service for Anglesea and Aireys Inlet. There isn’t even a family day care here in town, this is the only one.

“We can only offer our community 14 places per day with 47 children in total rotated throughout the week, but we don’t run all day either and we have an extensive waitlist.


ACH president Beth Davidson.


“The lack of facilities is a really significant limiter to the services we can provide to our community and with a demand for workers, workers with accommodation, most of which are young families, there needs to be appropriate childcare to accommodate this.

“It also limits our ability to have bigger classes for our activities. Sewing For A Purpose is one example of this and when classes are running, there is no room to move around.”

ACH welcomes the opportunity to bring services together but hopes to receive a dedicated admin and storage space for each activity group.

Operations co-ordinator Julie Martin said the proposal should aim to have tenants “better off” as a starting point.

“All we say to people is to join the conversation, because if you aren’t, you can’t influence the outcome of the proposal,” Ms Martin said.

“An overwhelming amount of people in the community are in support of the proposal, but we don’t want to get this feedback period wrong.”


Julia Martin holding Felix the guinea pig inside the house’s childcare room.


The Shire secured a state government grant of $200,000 to undertake the planning project and has contributed $50,000 of its own funding.

The Shire’s general manager of placemaking and environment Chris Pike said the Shire greatly values all input it had received.

“ACH staff have experience in developing integrated community hubs and have provided us with important information about things like the types of spaces needed and layout requirements to meet existing and forecasted community needs.

“They work closely with the community and have highlighted the significant demand for childcare in Anglesea – with 40 kids on the waiting list and no long day care provider in the town.


The Anglesea Community House is located at 5 McMillan St, Anglesea, inside the Anglesea Community Precinct.


“We also thank everyone in the community who provided valuable feedback as part of the latest stage of community engagement.

“It’s been extremely helpful. We received more than 150 responses, which will be presented – along with the next steps in detail – at the February 27 council meeting.”

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