Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry and MCC Chairman Barry Longland (front, centre), accompanied by support staff from both organisations, toured the newly-refurbished centre which has been built back to be more resilient in the face of future flooding events.
The Murwillumbah Community Centre (MCC) has reopened its doors following the completion of a $1 million restoration project, 15 months after floodwaters destroyed its home.
The Community Centre, located in Knox Park in Murwillumbah, was inundated during the February 2022 flood which saw up to 700 millimetres of water ravage the building internally, destroying meeting and consulting rooms, reception, kitchens and amenities, plus structural walls, doors, windows and flooring – all impacting the delivery of services.
Proudly funded through Round 5 of the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund, restoration works started in February 2023, with Council’s Infrastructure Delivery Team working closely with MCC manager Wendy Constantine to design and deliver a revamped facility made more resilient to floods and other natural disasters through new features and measures including:
epoxy coating on floors
waterproof coating in kitchens and bathrooms instead of tiling
stainless steel joinery and aluminium glass doors and skirtings throughout the building, replacing chipboard and sandwich panel constructions with fibrocement sheeting
raising all mechanical, electrical and communication services such as power points, data/phone lines and air conditioning to higher points on walls
installing recycled/existing plumbing fittings and fixtures where possible
installing mostly glass, partition doors and walls which require only minimum recovery works post floods.
Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry toured the new centre yesterday, noting the best practice construction and its more sustainable, flood-resilient design.
“We were pleased to be able to temporarily rehome the Murwillumbah Community Centre over the past year so they could continue to offer their critical services, but it is fantastic to finally see them return to their home again,” Cr Cherry said.
“While it’s not practical to relocate the centre or make it completely flood-proof, flood-resilient measures have been incorporated in the refurbishment to reduce the impact from any possible future floods we might experience.
“This is part of our plans to build back better and help boost resilience in the community to ensure we are better prepared for the future.”
MCC Manager Wendy Constantine thanked MCC staff and volunteers for their commitment to the community since the floods.
“They have not only been flexible in their service delivery but despite their own personal challenges, have worked tirelessly to ensure uninterrupted service to the community in a caring and compassionate way, ensuring people have had their basic needs met while supporting them through their recovery journey,” Ms Constantine said.
“We also thank Tweed Shire Council for putting us up at the Coolamon Centre while they renovated the Community Centre and are really thankful that they have designed the building to be more flood-proof going forward.
“All MCC staff and other services who typically work from the Community Centre are happy to be back working from this space, offering support to the community and having a bit of normality once again.”
The MCC hub houses and delivers many services to residents of the Tweed including emergency relief, financial and budget counselling, Indigenous family support, youth services, supported playgroup, seniors support and welfare support. It also accommodates more than 30 outreach services for organisations from Lismore to Tweed Heads.
Tweed Shire Council is working together with others to prepare for, mitigate and build resilience to natural disasters and the impacts of climate change. It is planning ahead so the Tweed is ready for the future, making it better tomorrow than it is today.
To find out more about Council’s flood recovery work, visit tweed.nsw.gov.au/flood-recovery-works.
The newly-refurbished Murwillumbah Community Centre in Knox Park, Murwillumbah.
Photo 1: MCC ReopeningCaption: Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry and MCC Chairman Barry Longland (front, centre), accompanied by support staff from both organisations, toured the newly-refurbished centre which has been built back to be more resilient in the face of future flooding events.
Photo 2: Refurbished MCCCaption: The newly-refurbished Murwillumbah Community Centre in Knox Park, Murwillumbah.
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