George Gray’s move

LAND and buildings formerly owned by the Catholic Diocese of Sale will become the administrative hub and centre of operations for Maffra’s George Gray Centre.

The George Gray Centre bought the property located opposite Sale’s St Mary’s Cathedral, which is bordered by Foster and Pearson Sts.

It includes the former church business office, a vacant block of land which is currently a car park, the former bishop’s office, three units and an older house a total land area of 4779 square metres in five titles.

The diocese originally wanted $1.3 million for the land, but the purchase figure is not known.

For six years the George Gray Centre has leased a building in Sale to run the successful Wellington Community Connect Program which has offered workplace training, education and recreation to about 40 participants.

It has also provided emergency respite to a number of community members disabilities.

The property opposite the cathedral is close to many community facilities, such as Community College Gippsland, which is regularly accessed by George Gray Centre participants.

Centre chief executive Ian Hunt said the move to a new site had been driven by the fact that 80 per cent of participants either lived in Sale or the surrounding area.

“It is therefore important for our long term future that we maintain our position as a key provider of quality programs for adults with a disability in the Wellington Shire,” he said.

“The Sale facility will also become our main administration base and centre of operations, but our Maffra facility will continue to provide a diverse range of programs and administrative support as it has always done.”

George Gray Centre provides a diverse range of day service programs and supported employment for more than 100 participants and has been at the forefront in providing innovative programs.

There will be an official opening of the new site early next year.

The diocese land sale follows a decision by the church to move its administrative centre to Warragul, relocating staff from Sale and Newborough.

For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.