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New Café and Community Hub Coming to Girgarre.

Work on a brand new, state-of-the-art Café and Community Hub (pictured right) to be situated on the Winter Rd, Green Thumbs Nursery site will begin shortly, thanks to a generous $814,000 grant, courtesy of the Federal Government’s Murray Darling Basin Economic Program. The Honourable Damian Drum, Member for Nicholls, delivered the good news to an enthusiastic on site on Thursday 8 July.

“The Federal government was well aware of the impact on small communities caused by reforms to the Murray Darling Basin Water Plan”, Mr Drum said. “The loss of water from the region has come at a great cost to many, limiting their ability to maintain wealth. The Government’s Economic Grant program is designed to give communities like Girgarre, the opportunity to develop enterprises and programs that will provide diversity and bring wealth back to their local community. It recognises that communities know how best to tackle the challenges they face, and what kinds of economic activity would best support them.”

You have bitten off a large project”, he went on to say, “It is one of the better projects I’ve seen, it shows what can happen when you dream big. The commitment of your community is remarkable. These funds are to say thank you for your vision and hard work, but it represents only a fraction of the many in-kind hours put in by the local volunteers. It is an honour to contribute.”

Chair of the Gargarro Botanic Gardens Inc and Project Manager, Mr Doc McDonald, said the Gargarro Committee felt they had nothing to lose in submitting a grant application. “We felt we were a perfect fit for the Government’s program”, he said. “We had all the plans and permits in hand, and we knew we were ‘shovel-ready’ if successful.

We are incredibly grateful to the Federal Government for their on-going support. The Café and info centre will provide employment opportunities, and the profits from the café and nursery will be part of the revenue stream that suppports the local community. The next 12 months will see unprecedented activity on the site. It is an exciting time,” he said with a smile. “We are still pinching ourselves.”

(Irene Labbett)

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