$2.5m Labor pledge to bolster North Richmond centre for emergencies

An Albanese Labor Government will help Hawkesbury people find refuge in times of crisis by committing $2.5 million to help redevelop the North Richmond Community Centre so it can operate as a first response emergency evacuation point, said Macquarie MP Susan Templeman.

The need for improved facilities is evident following devastating bushfires and repeated floods for more than two years, forcing residents to evacuate.

“This was particularly evident west of the river when homes and businesses were destroyed by the Black Summer bushfires in 2019, and then again when the cutting of bridges and roads by floods created isolation in 2021,” Ms Templeman said.

“In addition, it is high time there was investment in community facilities west of the river, for non-emergency use.

“This funding, which would be augmented by state or local government funds, would help redevelop and transform the North Richmond Community Centre into not only a vibrant and sustainable community hub for residents, but also an evacuation centre.

The investment would assist with the first stage of proposed upgrades including:

  • Kitchen upgrade, revitalised façade, entry points and playground, plus a mix of active and passive outdoor spaces with seating, shaded areas, barbecues and a bike track;
  • The addition of two men’s and two women’s shower cubicles for evacuation use;
  • Creating additional space;
  • Upgraded air-conditioning systems;
  • Upgrade existing IT system.

“This commitment would not only mean more community facilities during the good times, but a safe haven for residents to turn to during times of trouble.

“Extraordinarily important community connections are made thanks to the programs that operate out of the North Richmond Community Centre. From connecting mums and bubs with each other, its youth programs and its seniors’ offerings, the centre is a real mainstay of this community.

“I am very proud an Albanese Labor Government would work with Hawkesbury Council to deliver an incredibly valuable piece of infrastructure.”

Picture: Macquarie MP Susan Templeman, volunteer Sharon Stevens, North Richmond Community Centre Manager Birgit Walter, and Senator Murray Watt, Shadow Minister for Disaster and Emergency Management at the North Richmond Community Centre funding announcement.

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