Marysville says thanks for Coffs com­mu­nity funds

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - NEWS -

THE Coffs Har­bour com­mu­nity has been thanked for its gen­eros­ity yes­ter­day at a cer­e­mony to mark the open­ing of MiRA – the new Marysville In­for­ma­tion + Re­gional Artspace – in Vic­to­ria which was built us­ing funds do­nated fol­low­ing the dev­as­tat­ing Black Satur­day Bush­fires of 2009.

Shortly af­ter the scale of the dis­as­ter be­came known, Coffs Har­bour City Coun­cil es­tab­lished an ap­peal fund at the re­quest of Rus­sell Crowe and with the sup­port of his friend, Aus­tralian bas­ket­ball great Luc Lon­g­ley.

The Rus­sell Crowe, Luc Lon­g­ley & Coffs Har­bour City Coun­cil and Com­mu­nity Cen­tre Bush­fire Ap­peal Fund raised $500,000 for the town of Marysville from mem­bers of our com­mu­nity, lo­cal sport­ing groups and ser­vice clubs.

Since 2009, the Fed­eral Govern­ment, Vic­to­rian Govern­ment, Mur­rindindi Shire Coun­cil and lo­cal res­i­dents have worked through a num­ber of pro­pos­als to find an ap­pro­pri­ate and long-term use for the funds, which have been held in trust by the Bendigo Bank Com­mu­nity En­ter­prise Foun­da­tion.

MiRA, de­vel­oped in con­sul­ta­tion with Mur­rindindi Shire Coun­cil, com­mu­nity arts groups and the Marysville and Tri­an­gle Busi­ness and Tourism Inc. (MTBT Inc.) has trans­formed the for­mer Re­build­ing Ad­vi­sory Cen­tre into a com­mu­nity and tourism hub com­bin­ing a gallery, mu­seum, re­tail space for lo­cal ar­ti­san wares and pro­duce and per­for­mance and meet­ing spa­ces.

As well as the con­tri­bu­tion from the Coffs Har­bour ap­peal, funds were pro­vided by the Vic­to­rian Bush­fire Ap­peal Fund and the Vic­to­rian Govern­ment.

The Vic­to­rian Govern­ment has also ap­proved fund­ing as­sis­tance to­wards on­go­ing op­er­a­tional costs.

MiRA was of­fi­cially opened yes­ter­day and Coffs Har­bour Mayor Cr Denise Knight sent a mes­sage on be­half of the Coffs Har­bour com­mu­nity in which she wished the peo­ple of Marysville the best for the fu­ture.

“This is not a time for look­ing back, but a time for look­ing for­ward and cel­e­brat­ing the open­ing of the Marysville In­for­ma­tion + Re­gional Artspace,” the mes­sage read.

“All those from the Coffs Har­bour com­mu­nity who do­nated to the Rus­sell Crowe, Luc Lon­g­ley & Coffs Har­bour City Coun­cil Com­mu­nity Cen­tre Bush­fire Ap­peal Trust will be de­lighted to know they have con­trib­uted to the es­tab­lish­ment of what will be an ex­cit­ing and vi­brant space for your com­mu­nity and vis­i­tors.

“Marysville was for­ever changed in 2009: it will never be the same com­mu­nity it was be­fore the fires, but it is now a new com­mu­nity and one that is char­ac­terised by re­silience and to­geth­er­ness.”

Hol­ly­wood lead­ing man Crowe has strong links to the Coffs Coast, spend­ing time at his Nana Glen ru­ral re­treat.

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