Community

Mur'bah centre now open after 10 years in the planning

Murwillumbah's new community centre at Knox Park.
Murwillumbah's new community centre at Knox Park. Albert Elzinga

THE Murwillumbah community witnessed what can be achieved if the three levels of government get together to achieve one single goal when residents gathered to attend the official opening of a new community centre in Murwillumbah.

Richmond MP Justine Elliot worked with Lismore MP Thomas George and Tweed Shire Council to secure the necessary funding.

They joined Tweed mayor Barry Longland to celebrate the completion of the Murwillumbah Community Centre.

Former councillor Max Boyd was a guest of honour while former council general manager Mike Rayner attended but kept a low profile during the ceremony which saw Mrs Elliot officially open the centre at Knox Park.

Murwillumbah community centre management committee chairman Brian Hills thanked the team responsible before handing over to centre manager Wendy Constantine who expressed the staff's excitement at moving into the large, well-equipped facility.

Cr Longland acknowledged the joint government effort and the Murwillumbah Lions Club for its $300,000 contribution.

"This project has been more than 10 years in the planning and as a member of the centre's management committee for some years, it's gratifying to be here at the official opening of this important community infrastructure," Cr Longland said.

Mrs Elliot, who secured $2 million of federal funding for the project, said she was proud to have delivered on her 2010 election promise and called the creation of the new centre a "great community victory".

Thomas George, Justine Elliot and Barry Longland at the centre opening.
Thomas George, Justine Elliot and Barry Longland at the centre opening. Albert Elzinga

"This construction project created 12 local jobs and with an emphasis on purchasing building and associated materials locally, businesses in the region saw an economic boost.

"The new building is a one-stop-shop for community support services," Mrs Elliot said.

The new centre was designed by Bud Brannigan who also designed the Tweed River Art Gallery and the Tweed River Regional Museum's new extension.

The design incorporates office space for not-for-profit and non-government organisations, a secure indoor/outdoor play area and a youth area for training and activities as well as a one-stop-shop for a wide range of community services.

Community stalwart and foodie festival organiser Kerry Turner presented centre manager Wendy Constantine with a bouquet at Saturday's opening.
Community stalwart and foodie festival organiser Kerry Turner presented centre manager Wendy Constantine with a bouquet at Saturday's opening. Albert Elzinga

Centre manager Wendy Constantine said: "The new centre enables us to expand on our services and is an opportunity for other community groups to use the large meeting rooms to run their own activities for the community to enjoy.

"The new centre is a fantastic resource for the community and will mean a lot to many people," Ms Constantine said.

Topics:  justine elliot, murwillumbah community centre, thomas george, tweed shire council



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