The first sod has been turned on the North East Community Hub project, which will deliver a new multipurpose facility and open space for people in the City’s north.

The Honourable Josh Frydenberg MP, Federal Member for Kooyong joined the Mayor of Boroondara, Councillor Phillip Healey and Councillor Jim Parke, Bellevue Ward at the sod turning event on Monday 6 March.

Cr Healey thanked the Australian Government for providing a $3.2 million grant to the North East Community Hub project, through the National Stronger Regions Fund.

“It is great to see the Australian Government supporting key community projects through the National Stronger Regions Fund, and we are very appreciative of their support for building this important and highly anticipated facility in Balwyn North,” Cr Healey said.

“The $17.2 million North East Community Hub will provide much-needed community services and programs in an area of Boroondara that has disadvantaged groups and gaps in local services.

“Balwyn and Balwyn North have the highest proportion of low income households and highest proportion of people with no formal qualifications in Boroondara. This area is also our most culturally diverse, where 16% of the population speak a Chinese language at home.

“Council is committed to strengthening our community by developing user-friendly hubs that provide programs for people of all ages with a focus on health and wellbeing.” Bellevue Ward Councillor Jim Parke emphasised the central role the local community played in planning the hub, which will benefit them for generations to come.

“Engaging the local community in planning this project has been a priority, and we spoke to more than 800 people during our consultation programs,” Cr Parke said.

“We also have a group of dedicated Community Ambassadors who are championing the project, and the Greythorn traders have been another important partner.

“For close to a decade, Council has talked with local people about building a multipurpose facility in this neighbourhood, and that vision has become reality.

“I would also like to acknowledge the vital partnership with the North Balwyn RSL Sub-branch, which has provided land to Council on a long-term lease. Without their generosity this project would not have been possible.”

When it opens midway through next year, the North East Community Hub will have:

  • a neighbourhood house,
  • community meeting spaces,
  • a library lounge,
  • a large multipurpose function room,
  • an integrated childcare centre (76 long day care places with a funded kindergarten and 15 occasional care places),
  • a two-unit maternal and child health centre,
  • allied health and counselling services,
  • the North Balwyn RSL, and
  • a new open space on the corner of Centre Way and Trentwood Avenue.

As part of this project, the eastern end of Centre Way will become one-way and is being upgraded to make it a more attractive streetscape for pedestrians and vehicles, and be an important link between the North East Community Hub and Greythorn Shopping Centre.

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