Council debates future of Nullum House

FLOODING PROBLEMS: Council is deciding what to do with Nullum House in Murwillumbah.
FLOODING PROBLEMS: Council is deciding what to do with Nullum House in Murwillumbah. Scott Powick

THE future of Nullum House in Murwillumbah is up for discussion as council decides on whether it should demolish the flood-prone building.

Located next to the Murwillumbah Community Centre in Knox Park, Nullum House provides services to the homeless including food, showers, laundry and social space.

Having flooded three times in 10 years, Tweed Shire Council has spent between $40,000 and $90,000 during each flood in building works, plus an additional $37,000 in 2013 to replace damaged content.

During Thursday's council meeting, staff presented a report with two options on what to do with Nullum House, considering it is still at risk of future flooding.

The report recommended either to partially reinstate the services Nullum House offers on a temporary basis until the reconfiguration of Murwillumbah Community Centre (MCC) can accommodate those services, or demolish the ageing building on completion of the reconfiguration of the MCC.

Council's community and cultural services manager Robyn Grigg said council needed to make a decision.

"Every time it floods, it costs more,” Ms Grigg said.

"We've worked quite thoroughly on this for months and we put forward this motion on what we thought would be best to take people with us step by step and at least disruption to them.

"We are in a working group with the organisation that runs the (MCC).

"We would absolutely need to consult with the clients and the homeless people who use the centre. The only thing that wouldn't work for us is not to be decisive about moving forward.”

Mayor Katie Milne said she was hesitant to make a decision about the future of Nullum House because "it means so much to the community.”

"I really endorse the partial rebuild,” she said. "It seems to be a shame to demolish a building that seems to not have anything wrong with it other than it floods.”

Cr Warren Polglase said he believed in the long-term, Nullum House would have to be demolished once MCC was able to accommodate all of the services on offer.

"We're not taking the services away,” he said.

"We're trying to create a circumstance where the services can remain with a better outcome. Nullum House will have to go.

"We can provide the services there for a little while until we find somewhere we can provide better services.”

Council has deferred its decision until September 21. .

Topics:  murwillumbah community centre nullum house tweed flood tweed shire council

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