The Murrumbateman Progress Association (MPA) is a voluntary, not for profit, community-based association operating in the Murrumbateman and its hinterland in New South Wales.
It acts as an umbrella organisation to assist community members to conduct their activities with appropriate legal and statutory cover, representative and other support.
MPA commenced in 1936 as the Murrumbateman Agricultural Bureau, a branch of the Agricultural Bureau of NSW, which was established in 1910 as an extension arm of the NSW Department of Agriculture. It was founded to disseminate agricultural information and organize activities in rural areas and provided a link berween the Department of Agriculture’s extension staff and the agricultural community.
The Bureau went into recess during WW2 but was reactivated in 1946 when it amalgamated with the Murrumbateman-Jeir Railway League and Progress Association and the new name became Murrumbateman Agricultural Bureau and Progress Association (MABPA). The objectives of the organization were:
The promotion of rural adult education in general and agricultural education in particular and the promotion of rural productivity, efficiency and improved standards of living. At the time Murrumbateman had a population of 280 people, a primary school, post office and no electricity or telephone. It was the centre for a farming, grazing and woolgrowing district and agitation from MABPA enabled the construction of a single telephone line to Yass and the provision of electricity. MABPA was also responsible for arranging for the transfer of the school building to MECCA when MECCA started.
About 10 years ago the NSW Dept of Agriculture closed down the Agricultural Bureau of NSW State Body and the members of MABPA decided to retain the name of Murrumbateman Agricultural Bureau and Progress Association (MABPA) Inc. and operate as an independent organisation.
At the MABPA November General meeting held on the 21st November 2013, members agreed in principle to accept a revised constitution, subject to minor alterations and voted in favour of a name change and Murrumbateman Progress Association (MPA) was decided by the majority of voting members present. (See Media Release)
Both the revised constitution and the new name must be lodged with NSW Fair Trading for official recognition before they can be adopted. In the meantime and until we have the approval of NSW Fair Trading, the current (2009) constitution and the name, Murrumbateman Agricultural Bureau and Progress Association remain in place.
The MPA is responsible for paying the Insurances, accountant’s fees, the Murrumbateman Services Directory and mowing. By 2017, it was confirmed that the MPA had finished is repayments to Yass Valley Council in order to repay a loan of $100,000 for the construction of the tennis courts.
The MPA's income comes from mower contributions from Yass Valley Council, Rec Grounds Committee, Pony Club and Adult Riders Club; and profits from the Field Days held in the previous year. The MPA needs approx $20,000 for operating and $10,000 for YVC repayments. Any additional profits from the Field days, apart from FD start up capital of $25,000 are then available to be paid as grants to the Community.
The total amount of grants since 1993 are over $550,000 and have been paid to 28 different organizations. The main recipient has been the Murrumbateman Recreation Reserve Grounds who have received grants of $286,039. The improvements paid for by the MPA include bitumen and other road works, sand arena, horse yards, weather shed, BBQ shed ( now Menshed), Rec. Hall improvements and Hall kitchen.
Following the closure of the local post office in 2008/9 the Association, through community consultations, agreed to set up the Community Postal Agency for the purpose of the collection of parcels by local residents and the sale of stamps. Many members of our community were involved from the outset as volunteers in the initial establishment and the operation of the agency until its closure. This Association, on behalf of our community, extends sincere thanks to all those who gave of their time and energy to provide this extremely valuable service to our community. The community postal agency (CPA) closed on 1 October 2014 and is now operated as a private business from the Murrumbateman Pharmacy.
It is essential that the MPA attracts new community members, who are prepared to be involved in the running of the MPA (the parent bodies) activities, to enable it to continue the excellent work that it has done in the past.