Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin has officially opened the Community Enterprise and Skills Development Centre – ‘Grove House’ – at Kyogle.

Ms Saffin said the Australian Government provided $156,722 (GST inclusive) to the Kyogle Shire Council towards purchasing the Old Ambulance Station in Geneva Street and converting it into a new community skills centre. 

“The Rudd Government’s support for this project, guaranteed under its Better Regions program, has delivered a central training facility for the Kyogle community,” Ms Saffin said.

“I also think it is fitting that the centre is named after the late pioneer George James Grove, who built the ambulance station in 1940-41, along with many other landmark buildings in the town and surrounding district.”

Ms Saffin praised all project partners — Kyogle Shire Council, which had contributed $232,869 (GST exclusive); the NSW Department of Health, for selling the building to council at less than market value; the NSW Department of Community Services, which is providing $67,152 over two years for a co-ordinator, and the Kyogle Community Technology Centre, for its equipment.

She also acknowledged former Kyogle Shire building inspector Dick Judd, who managed the renovation, undertaken by local builder Wayne Passfield.

The new centre houses a range of existing community service providers currently operating in Kyogle and will provide a one-stop shop for people wanting to further develop their technology, business training and community services skills.

Ms Saffin said the new building will provide office space for the Community Technology Centre, council’s Community Project Officer, Northern Rivers Adult Community Education group and office space for another community organisation.

“The creation of the skills centre is testament to what local and rural communities can achieve and will help to keep local skills in Kyogle,” she said.

“There are a number of training rooms with computer access available, interview meeting rooms, community radio facilities and an internet café. This project is a first-class technology and business facility for the local community and surrounding region.”

Ms Saffin congratulated the local community for working together to provide a valuable skills centre that would serve it well for many decades.