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8 february 2001

Lightning Ridge Community Centre is in jeopardy

If the additional funding required to build Lightning Ridge's proposed HACC Centre is not forthcoming by March 31 2001, Council may be required to refund the $276,000 grant received from the Ageing and Disability Department to commence its construction.

This harsh ultimatum to a community recognised as the fifth most disadvantaged in NSW in terms of community infrastructure, will bring an angry response from residents who have always demonstrated their ability to make things happen at minimal cost; through spirited community commitment.

Council holds the grant monies which they have matched on a 2:1 basis plus accrued interest of $50,000.

Early consultative meetings with service providers,clients and community members revealed that the broader needs of the community be incorporated with the HACC Centre to perform the role of a CommunityCentre...

This concept was received with and reported upon with enthusiasm. Recognising these needs, Council pursued this concept with projections identified, again through consultation.Architect, Glen Murcutt, was engaged to design a minimum maintenance centre,which will blend into our environment and lifestyle,to meet these needs.

Many figures have been bandied about as to end cost. Costs on the Murcutt model have been calculated by the quantity surveys, based on Sydney prices,using contractors.Locals have their own unique manner to cut costs with completed projects to bear testimony to their efforts.But it is speculated costs which continue to daunt some and have created an undercurrent of comment.

Some sources are suggesting Council has been tardy in securing the additional funding.It is this alleged tardiness that has prompted the Ageing and Disability Department's letter.

Deputations from Council will meet with state and federal governments to secure funding.

A model of the proposed Lightning Ridge Community Centre will be on display at a public meeting convened by Council, Wednesday, February 14, at 2pm.

The community and potential users are urged to attend.
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