Flood Relief Centre coordinator Peter Paige at the converted Grantham butter factory.
Flood Relief Centre coordinator Peter Paige at the converted Grantham butter factory. David Nielsen

Squatter moves for relief centre

A SQUATTER who occupied a disused Grantham butter factory has taken his “junk” and evacuated the property, which has now been converted to a flood relief centre.

The squatter was first given his marching orders over a year ago, but it wasn't until water tore through the close-knit community in January that he removed the majority of his clutter.

The property, which has been on the market since the start of last year for $450,000, became an important part of the community when it narrowly avoided the destructive wall of water that destroyed so many homes.

Gatton Ray White Rural principal Andrew O'Brien said the squatter, known only by his first name, Yen, had been co-operative when told of the building's importance to the community.

“He has left some of his stuff there but I would say about 75% of it has gone,” Mr O'Brien said.

Just weeks after the disaster, the Grantham community rallied together and converted the disused factory into a relief centre, where much-needed donations are being housed.

Flood Relief Centre co-ordinator and volunteer Peter Paige said he could see the importance of the building to the community who had lost so much.

“I'm just an ordinary bloke up here to help but what I can tell you is it's just an amazing feeling to see this community, which is going through so much, coming in here and getting things they need,” Mr Paige said.

The building, which once housed piles upon piles of rubbish, has now been transformed into a community donation centre.

Mr O'Brien said he was in negotiations with people who were interested in buying the factory.

“There is talk of it becoming a community centre for the people of Grantham,” he said.

“I suspect a decision on the building's future could be made in the next month or two.”



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