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An Evergreen Home for Sustainability in Lake Mac


Ribbon cutting ceremony. (Left to right): Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin, Sustainable Neighbourhood Alliance Chair Gabrielle Clappison, Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper, Lake Macquarie Landcare Volunteer Network Chair Marion Lugg, and Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser.

Lake Macquarie residents and visitors now have access to a one-stop shop to learn more about sustainability and caring for the environment, with the opening of the new Landcare and Sustainable Living Centre, umali barai-ku, at Booragul.

 

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin and Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser opened the new facility, alongside volunteers from Lake Macquarie Landcare Network and the Sustainable Neighbourhood Alliance.


Cr Fraser said the $2 million site upgrade would enable Council staff and volunteers to work together and engage with more people than ever before.


“Lake Macquarie Landcare and the Sustainable Neighbourhood Alliance already do fantastic work to help educate our community around how they can live more sustainably and care for the natural environments that make our city so unique,” she said.


“With the upgraded facilities available at the new centre, I have no doubt the inspiring line-up of events and programming that Council and these groups deliver will continue to grow and thrive.”


Built on the site of the former Landcare Resource Centre at Booragul, the Landcare and Sustainable Living Centre features new indoor and outdoor meeting spaces, updated kitchen and state-of-the-art collaborative office spaces for staff and volunteers.


The Awabakal name for the centre, umali barai-ku, means ‘to do for the earth’.


Lake Macquarie City Council Manager Community Partnerships Andrew Bryant said this commitment ‘to do for the earth’ was reflected in the building’s physical form.


“We’re extremely proud that this new facility has been designed and constructed with Green Star building principles to ensure the materials and architecture maximise environmental benefits,” he said.


“We have 50-kilowatts of solar on the roof, we’re capturing and using rainwater in our operations, there are green walls to assist with cooling, and we’re reducing waste through re-use of materials. The pavers you’ll see around the centre were once used in Pearson Street Mall at Charlestown.”


The NSW Government contributed $202,118 to the project through Round Two of the Stronger Country Communities Fund, with Council contributing the remainder.


Mr Martin said the project was an example of what could be achieved when State and local government worked together to enrich the lives of residents in regional communities.


“This project shows the real difference that the Stronger Country Communities Fund is making in regional communities, with more than 2530 projects already underway in every local government area across NSW,” Mr Martin said.


“The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is investing record amounts to deliver the infrastructure needed to stimulate regional economies, but we’re also backing grassroots projects that make a positive difference to everyday life.”


Opening celebrations will continue this month, with a bumper program of events including a family-friendly community open day at the centre on Saturday 18 February.


The day will feature a keynote speech and panel discussion with best-selling author and Gardening Australia presenter Hannah Moloney.


For event details or to see the full program of activities on offer throughout February, visit lakemacquarielandcare.org.au.

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