No bikie club for Dean

THE American Motorcycle Club won't call Dean Recreation Reserve home.

Hepburn Shire Council voted last night not to proceed with leasing the Dean Recreation Reserve clubrooms to the American Motorcycle Club, which wanted to renovate the facility and use it as a meeting space.

The council will now stage a public meeting seeking expressions of interest in the clubrooms.

It comes after a strong public backlash against the American Motorcycle Club's proposal.

The council received 36 submissions in opposition to the lease and just three in favour.

In addition, a petition was submitted by 24 people opposing the lease.

Moving the motion, Creswick Ward councillor Greg May said the community's opposition to the American Motorcycle Club's plan was "pretty overwhelming" at a public meeting on the issue last month.

He said the motorcycle club's proposal had caused some concern and angst in the community.

"There was some ill-informed concern," he said.

"Credit should be given to the motorcycle club that they are prepared to undertake some repairs to the building at their own expense."

Referring to last month's public meeting, Creswick Ward councillor Don Henderson said he had never seen a large turn out in such a small community.

"Most of the people I spoke to in Dean weren't concerned about the integrity of the people who were members of this chapter of the motorcycle club," he said. "They were concerned about the noise."

He said it was regrettable to say no to a group that wanted to make something of the facility and now it was up to the Dean community to bring the clubrooms back to life through other ideas.

"They have a wonderful facility there and there are a number of opportunities," he said.

The Goldfields chapter of the American Motorcycle Club had approached Hepburn Shire Council with a proposal to lease the clubrooms for the purposes of having a meeting point for club members when participating in recreational rides.

The council resolved at its January meeting to draw up a draft lease and publicly advertise the proposal ahead of a council vote.

The Dean Recreation Reserve Committee is responsible for the management and operation of the reserve, but is not currently active and does not hold regular meetings.

It has no revenue stream because the facility is not being used by groups.

rachel.afflick@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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