Federal Nationals Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan joined the passionate Nambucca Heads RSL Club team to announce the official appointment of Coffs Coast builders Alurt Pty Ltd as the principal contractor for Federal Government-funded upgrade works.
Alurt’s appointment and the commencement of the construction site set up this week brings the Club a step closer to completing the long-awaited roof updates that will strengthen its capabilities as the region’s Emergency Evacuation Centre and Community Hub.
Following the 2019/20 Black Summer Bushfires, The Nationals in government created the $2.2 Billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund and awarded critical grants to those communities most affected. The funding was provided with a particular focus on bolstering emergency response capabilities and preparedness for future disasters.
Under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants stream, Nambucca Heads RSL Club was awarded over $2.07 million to undertake comprehensive replacement works of the facility’s aging roof, allowing for the installation of solar panels as well as energy efficient air conditioning units. The Club then contributed over $500,000 to allow the works to take place.
Mr Conaghan said the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants were originally awarded early last year, before the change of government, and to see these critical works progressing for the Nambucca Heads community is a welcome sight.
He said knowing that local builders are doing the works is the cherry on top.
“When the works are complete, the Club will be able to house evacuees far more safely in times of need. The additional day-to-day benefit of a more sustainable and energy efficient RSL Club is also great to see,” Mr Conaghan said.
“I sincerely thank Club CEO Wendy Mills and her entire team for their continued dedication and resourcefulness to see this important project across the line.”
Ms Mills thanked Mr Conaghan for his ongoing support and acknowledged the important role that the Club plays for the Greater Nambucca Heads Community.
“Thanks to Pat for ensuring that our community received the funding it so desperately needed. The Nambucca RSL Club is the only designated emergency evacuation centre for the Nambucca Heads population of over 6,300 people and was well utilised during the 2019/20 bushfires and the March 2021 floods,” Ms Mills said.
“In order to remain a safe refuge in times of need, our old roof needs to go. Not only is it aging, it simply doesn’t have the capacity to accommodate the infrastructure we need to comfortably home evacuees during natural disasters. The new roof structure will house energy efficient and emergency compliant air-conditioning units, as well as beef up our sustainability credentials with solar panels.
“In an era of sky-rocketing energy prices, this will also provide us with some financial relief so that we don’t have to pass costs onto our customers and will allow us to reinvest in the club’s ongoing maintenance.”
Alurt has actively worked with the club to deliver a value-for-money proposal to ensure a positive legacy for the RSL Club, its members, and the community long into the future.
Construction will officially commence next month and is due for completion by the end of this year.