Gin Gin will undergo a major facelift with the Federal Government injecting $1,389,785 to help Bundaberg Regional Council build a new Community Hub.
The grant was published today on the Building Better Regions website.
Mayor Jack Dempsey thanked Member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd, for his support in obtaining the funds.
It follows news last year the Federal Government and Council have committed $4 million for a complete makeover of the town’s main street.
The $2.78 million hub project includes upgrades and an extension to the existing Gin Gin Service Centre and Neighbourhood Centre.
It extends the existing centre to incorporate the Gin Gin library; provides upgraded facilities that increase community and shared space; and consolidates Council operations and community services into a “one stop shop”.
The new hub will support a higher level of interaction between community groups.
A business case estimated 36,370 visitors per year (based on historical attendance figures for both the existing Centre 19,070 and library 17,300).
The existing Gin Gin community centre and library combined currently attract about 1820 visitors from outside the Bundaberg Region each year.
The Centre is also home to Queensland Community Care and the Commonwealth Home Support Program (helping residents over 65 and Indigenous residents over 50 to live independently and not prematurely move to assisted living).
Mayor Dempsey said nearly 150 clients in Gin Gin and the surrounding areas receive ongoing assistance through these programs.
“It’s estimated the gross annual stimulus to the local economy associated with visitors to the proposed Gin Gin Community Hub is $318,500 per year with potential for growth,” he said.
“The upgrade of existing facilities and improved capacity to deliver community-based programs and services will attract additional residents from beyond Gin Gin, resulting in greater visitor expenditure within the Gin Gin community.”
Divisional councillor Wayne Honor said upgrades to the Hub will improve delivery of programs and workshops that include assistance for job networking; resume and letter writing; computer and Internet access; volunteering opportunities; and community education.
“By improving capacity to deliver these services, we help to support those in the community who are looking to advance their knowledge, skills and employment opportunities,” he said.
“Community expectations for a modern library are for program-rich services with flexible spaces and the provision of learning, recreation and creative opportunities.
“This includes the ability to explore new technologies, enhance digital literacy and remain included socially, culturally and economically.
“By working together, the new model of a one stop shop will improve social connections and facilities for disadvantaged members of the community far beyond the construction phase and into the future.
“I'd like to thank Ken O'Dowd for supporting us with this application.”
Community hub highlights
- A new library
- Offices and shared space for agencies/community groups to utilise
- Common community space, including provision of secure after-hours access
- Common reception area for all services
- New car park with increased number parking spaces
- Internet share facilities
- Art gallery or display room
- Offices for Council operational staff
- Toilet access for customers
- Public outdoor space and cultural trail that provides information about the history of the town, landmarks, and enhanced community benefit for event and recreational use.
Briefed on the project last Friday, Queensland Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe congratulated Council and described the community hub as a “win-win for Gin Gin”.
Building Better Regions
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack today announced 330 new infrastructure projects as part of a $204.3 million investment under the Building Better Regions Fund.
“These projects will help build local economies and drive job creation, with more than 13,000 jobs to be supported throughout regional Australia, delivering career pathways and enabling people to stay in the communities they grew up in,” he said.
“It is projects such as these that ensure our regions remain strong, resilient and prosperous in the long term and I look forward to seeing these high-quality projects transform their local towns and communities and unlock regional Australia's economic potential.”