Work has begun on the foundations of the new Better Together Atherton Community Centre. The project is funded by the Queensland Government Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy and the Australian Government ($2.2 million) to strengthen community social support and engagement.
The Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minster for the Arts, the Honourable Leeanne Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government was proud to partner with the Australian Government and Better Together Community Support to build the new centre. They have worked hard to support us in gaining a funding grant from the Australian Government for the construction of this new premises for the centre.
The Palaszczuk Government is providing $1.9 million towards this important project, on top of the money provided to Better Together Community Support in 2019 to undertake full documented design, obtain all necessary planning approvals and secure land tenure. The Queensland Government provides Better Together with operational funding for the centre of $233,643 per annum. This has increased significantly from $126,501 in 2022-23 through the government’s record $51.8M uplift to Neighbourhood and Community Centre funding.
The funding from both the Australian Government and Queensland Government contribute to the funds Better Together had already raised for the project. Better Together has also received substantial support from the Tablelands Regional Council and we thank all departments that have contributed to getting this much needed community project off the ground. Its completion will be the culmination of nearly a decade of securing funding and preparation for the project, which will be the cornerstone of the local community, delivering services and supports for some of the most vulnerable people in the community.
Better Together has been part of the community under many names since July 1986, first as the Tableland Neighbourhood Information Centre and then in 2008 changed to Community Services Tablelands and then a rebrand to their current name 10 years later, in 2018. Growing from a 100% volunteer organisation to being a major employer in the region, Better Together was built on the greatest foundation of all and that is the people of the Tablelands Community. The new location is a way to continue that growth.
The new building at Robert Street will be a physical representation of the growth that Better Together has undergone in the last 30+ years. The organisation has already overgrown its first hub, 38 Mabel St and has been leasing a building in Main St for the last 7 years. Since then, the organisation has been working on securing funding to build a purpose-built centre that will incorporate 2 locations and bring the team together under one building. Making us “Better Together” in more ways than one.
Atherton has not had a dedicated Community Centre and this building will be purpose built to reflect and fulfill community need, will be an inclusive safe and accepting space and the “glue” between the surrounding community buildings that will create a Community Services Precinct and provide a meeting point for the community as well as having everything under one roof will make Better Together a “one-stop-shop” for community services
The new facility will include a larger community garden than the Mabel Street centre and will include a meeting space for Community Events. We hope that the Community can really get behind the new facility, claim it as their own and create more opportunities for community cooperation. That the new building will encourage people to volunteer and be part of our events and activities as we are more visible in the community.
If you would like more information about the project or would like to talk about the centre with your community group, local publication or would like to have someone talk to you about the opportunities the new building could bring for the community or your organisation feel free to Contact Us.
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