Plenty of work ahead as Gwydir Shire Mayor John Coulton, left, explains plans to establish a Youth Centre in the newly acquired Soil Conservation Service Building to Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, with Council’s Social Services Manager Suzanne Webber.
Monday, 7 August 2020
WITH the shake of a hand and the payment of a single gold coin, 47 Hope Street in the Warialda CBD has a new owner and will become the home of the town’s new youth centre, Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall announced today.
Mr Marshall was in Warialda late last week to officially hand over the keys to the former State Government Soil Conservation Service building to its new owner, Gwydir Shire Council.
He it was the best property deal Council and the community would ever sign off on.
“From an empty shop front in the Warialda CBD to a place of hopes and dreams, 47 Hope Street is about to become a one-stop-shop for youth empowerment in the Gwydir Shire,” Mr Marshall said.
“Through the State Government’s Community Use Policy, the former Soil Conservation Service office building has been purchased for $1, meaning for the next 15 years it must be used for public benefit.
“Centrally located in Warialda’s CBD, the Youth Hub will see the Gwydir Learning Region, Warialda High School, Bingara Central School and Gwydir Youth Services come together to provide a space for young people to meet up and undertake mentoring and education programs.
“One of the biggest issues facing towns like Warialda is how to encourage young people to stay, live and work after they finish school.
“Council wants the Youth Hub to be a place where young people can advocate for employment and social opportunities that will make their region more liveable.
“The space will also be used to host art exhibitions and events, highlighting the creative spirit of the community.”
Gwydir Shire Mayor John Coulton said the establishment of the Warialda Youth Hub would provide a boost to the health and wellbeing being of young people.
“While the drought has taken a toll on every corner of our community, Council has been particularly worried about the long lasting emotional impact on our young people,” Cr Coulton said.
“Council has been looking for ways it can improve its engagement with local youth, to ensure we are providing facilities and services that support their needs and encourage them to remain active in the community.
“This building will become the home for the Gwydir Youth Council, which currently has 12 representatives who work together to make contributions to the Council on youth matters.
“The Youth Council will be invited to participate in a weekly article for the Gwydir News that will reflect the achievements of their peers and illustrate what is held close to the hearts of the youth of our Shire.
“Council was fortunate to receive a $100,000 grant from the Federal Government’s drought program, which it will put towards the refurbishment of the Soil Con building.
“Considerable refurbishments are needed to bring the site up to a safe working standard including new painting, carpet, upgrades to sewerage the kitchenette and amenities.
“This is a project which works to give young people a voice in their own future and the future direction of the Shire and I thank Adam and the State Government for the generous sale.”