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8 February 2001

Murcutt model overwhelmingly endorsed.

Convened to allow internationally regarded architect, Glen Murcutt, the opportunity to present the model of the proposed Lightning Ridge Community Centre, the recent meeting gave overwhelming support to the concept, which fortifies Council's resolve to seek the necessary funding.

The well attended meeting of service providers, Councillors and community members endorsed a motion put by Councillor Waterford "that the community of Lightning Ridge needs and desires the town centre as presented at the community meeting, February 14,2000

Lightning Ridge is privileged that Glen Murcutt has developed a strong affinity with this unique community.

"It gives me great. pleasure to take on worthwhile projects, ones that 1 like to do," said Mr Murcutt. A romantic magnetism has drawn Mr Murcutt to the Ridge to design a community centre that blends with the life style, will utilise local materials and create a functional. centre which becomes an automatic tourist attraction.

The facility, will carry the cachet of being designed to a top ranking architect - Glen Murcutt. "Take me to the fields, let me see the buildings and how people do things from the seat of their pants," said Murcutt during his first visit."The best architecture is often created without architects, he said.

His present design has evolved from a clear picture of double roofing, opaldirt and tailings. It is an unique design for an unique community using proven concepts at a grassroots level.

- Drawing people together is the true meaning of a community centre. "Scattered buildings give no sense of place,and that is what 1 have designed a place for the community to gather, for a host of purposes," said Mr Murcutt.

The original single purpose has developed and the model will now embrace many services. With these changes have come the need for increased funding. Early deputations to Premier Carr and Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson led by past Mayor, Peter Waterford, were well received.

With the quantity surveyor's estimate and model complete State and Federal Governments can make more realistic assessments and allocations.

This first stage of the design process allows time for input. the final presentations will present a lean model with no room for further cuts.

Some matters of concern were raised.Inadequate funding to the Meals on Wheels Service makes no provisions for a delivery vehicle. Many Meals on Wheels' clients are field dwellers, dependant upon the service.

"You can't provide half a service,said Councillor Treweeke, "and Council really must lobby for additional funding that covers this cost, then it will not be necessary for on going fundraising efforts to be made by locals."

The Morilla Street office of Meals on Wheels has become the source of funding through the sale of many homemade articles.

Some dissent from another sector maybe resolved through consultation. Mr Murcutt's brief was to establish a model that satisfied the needs of each occupier and to progressively develop this model to become the basis of the design. The lean structure will be his finished product.

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