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14 April, 2021

New Northern Beaches Community Hub Reference Group under way

A KEY to the success of a planned Northern Beaches Community Hub will be the ownership residents feel about the exciting facility.


With that in mind, council has formed a Northern Beaches Community Hub Reference Group, which has now met twice.

Minutes from the reference group meetings were adopted at today’s ordinary meeting of council (Wednesday, April 14).

Chair, Deputy Mayor Karen May, said this was an extremely important project for Mackay, particularly the fast-growing Northern Beaches area.

“About 20,000 people live in the Northern Beaches area and council, in its last term, secured a 3.7-hectare site for the establishment of community infrastructure that is well overdue,’’ she said.

Cr May said there had been a fantastic response from community members and agencies to be involved in the reference groups.

“It is so important for council, in this preliminary design stage of the project, to ensure we harness what the community really wants out of the Northern Beaches Community Hub,’’ she said.

“We can then make sure we facilitate what the community needs. It is a very exciting time for council and the community.”

Other councillor representatives on the Community Reference Group include Cr Michelle Green, who is deputy chair, and Cr Belinda Hassan.

Other council representatives include Development Services director Aletta Nugent and Community and Client Services director Angela Hays, as well as officers.

Community representatives include Sian Burrows, Tegan Jones, Rae Lee Cox, Maighan Grant, Maria (Ela) Maglente, Geoff Berger, Valeriya Edsall, David Southwood and Laurence Mayer.

The reference group doesn’t have any decision-making powers. Minutes and any recommendations of the group are considered at council meetings.

Background

The Northern Beaches is a major population growth area in the Mackay Region. The Northern Beaches population catchment had a population of 20,000 in 2018 and is projected to grow to 30,000 by 2036.

The need for community facilities in the Northern Beaches area has been identified through several studies, strategies, and community surveys to date.

A business case prepared in 2019 investigated several sites to establish a centrally located multi-functional community hub.

The business case included a community needs assessment, supported by targeted consultation over years, that identified the range of community facilities required, including a library-anchored community hub with flexible indoor and outdoor community spaces.


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