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Emergency accommodation of greater importance

Oxley Island Community Hall has long been a centrepiece for the local community activities and more recently a place of refuge for those affected by natural disasters.

With its ongoing operation and upkeep continually reliant on the support of the community it serves, the recent funding boost from the March round of Greater Bank’s #GreaterMidNorthCoast community funding program has been welcomed by the small group of volunteers who maintain the facility.

The hall was built more than 100 years ago on Oxley Island, 20km east of Taree, and Function Manager Angela Budden, continues to be an important meeting place for the community.

“We hire the hall for weddings, funerals, local meetings and so forth, but due to Covid restrictions we have not been able to raise enough funds over the past 12 months to pay our regular expenses,” Angela said.

“We are planning to put in a new water tank and generator to help make our hall compliant as emergency accommodation in case of future fires or floods in the area.

“We also need a disabled bathroom and a laundry to bring the hall up to evacuation centre standards, so we are most appreciative of this money from the Greater, which will go towards achieving those goals.”

Also benefiting from this month’s #GreaterMidNorthCoast community funding program were Bowraville Pioneer Community Centre (Coffs Harbour) and Bungwahl & District Progress Association (Forster), both receiving $500.

Greater Bank’s Mid North Coast Regional Sales Manager, Jennifer Smith, said the need for more emergency accommodation is all too clear.

“We are seeing devastating flooding up and down the New South Wales coast at the moment which underscores the importance of evacuation facilities,” Jennifer said.

“It’s in our DNA to support the communities that support us, so I’m delighted to be able to help out the Oxley Island Community Hall through our community funding program.”

Jennifer Smith, Mid North Coast Regional Sales Manager

Nominees for the #GreaterMidNorthCoast Community Funding Round for April are Mid North Coast Writer's Centre (Port Macquarie), Forster Surf Life Saving Club and Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation (Grafton), with all three to share in $3,000 of monthly funding.

The public can vote at until 5:00pm Wednesday 27 April, 2022.

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