Joint Media Release with Minister for Defence Senator the Hon. Marise Payne and Member for Parkes Mr Mark Coulton MP
- The $4.8 million community hall was designed to provide a communal meeting place and provide facilities for the community and external agencies.
- The facility was built by the 21st Construction Squadron during the period May-December 2017
The northern NSW community of Toomelah can now enjoy their new $4.8 million community hall as the Australian Army hands over the site to the building’s custodians, the Local Aboriginal Land Council.
The Australian Government, through a joint venture with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Army, has been in Toomelah since May 2017 as part of the Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme (AACAP) working with locals to construct the communal meeting space.
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion said this new building has been constructed using Indigenous Advancement Strategy funding and will become the lifeblood of the community. It will be used for community meetings, important social gatherings, and provide the Local Aboriginal Land Council with office space and a place to call home.
“We worked in partnership with the local community to determine local priorities and deliver a project that will benefit Toomelah for many years to come,” Minister Scullion said.
Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Marise Payne said that in addition to the new meeting space, Army also refurbished the community church and sporting oval and constructed a sealed road.
“I would like to thank members of the 21st Construction Squadron and the many local businesses and community members who contributed to AACAP 2017,” Minister Payne said.
Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, said he was proud to see the building completed and handed over to the Toomelah Local Aboriginal Land Council.
“It was no small feat getting this building out of the ground. It was built on the flood plains of the town and will now, in a nice turn of events, become the refuge for townspeople in times of flood.
AACAP is now in its 21st year and has helped over 40 communities. Toomelah is the first community in New South Wales to receive an AACAP project.