State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has called on Kate Jones to make good on a proposed plan to grant a long term lease extension to the Mooloolah Valley Community Centre to allow for vital upgrades to the facility.
It comes following a meeting in November last year with the Education Minister to discuss a longer lease for the Community Centre that would allow capital funding to be sought to grow the Centre’s services.
“Kate Jones was very receptive to the idea but despite a conversation with her Senior Policy Advisor on 18 January and a letter to her of 21 February, I have not had a reply” Mr McArdle said
“Over the past eight years the Mooloolah Community Centre has developed a thriving contact and support base for people in the region but it is facing limited capacity to grow services it can offer the community.” Mr McArdle said.
“The Centre’s management committee have worked tireless towards a plan for self-reliance and growth which includes renovations and the addition of a kitchen to the facility” Mr McArdle said.
Dianne Held from the Centre’s Management Committee said that with a short term lease, obtaining capital grants needed for improvements is not possible.
“A 25 year lease would allow us to gain funding to improve the facilities. We need to replace the toilets, provide better disability access and install a commercial grade kitchen so that we can move forward.” Ms Held said.
“The Centre’s programs are already so well accessed – we hosted more than 400 people at our last BBQ. But these improvements would mean a sustainable future for our services” Ms Held said.
Historically, up until the mid-1980’s the building housed the Mooloolah School but in 2006 Education Queensland gave consent for it to be used as a community center.
The Centre’s programs have since grown to include counselling services, a community garden and welfare for families who find themselves in dire financial circumstances by which food vouchers, petrol vouchers and other assistance is provided.
“I believe that we are getting closer to a solution and hopefully one that will allow the Centre to flourish.’ Mr McArdle concluded.