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Darren Chester backs Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House redevelopment with multi-million dollar to enhance East Gippsland

Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, praises dedicated volunteers at Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House, highlighting their essential services, fundraising efforts, and the need for government support for a $6 million redevelopment project.

By news@gippsland - 4th September 2023 - Back to News

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is supporting a multi-million dollar bid to redevelop facilities at Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House. Mr Chester met this week with CEO Leanne Jennings and her team of volunteers who provide a wide range of services for hundreds of East Gippslanders every week. "The hard working volunteers do an incredible amount of work to support locals who may be struggling with the cost of living and need access to food or other services," Mr Chester said.

Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House CEO Leanne Jennings, Board Chairperson Simon Watson and Federal MP Darren Chester

Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House CEO Leanne Jennings, Board Chairperson Simon Watson and Federal MP Darren Chester

Revitalising neighbourhood house

Mr Chester said, "In addition to emergency assistance, the Neighbourhood House hosts lunch gatherings and prepares nutritious meals on wheels dishes for clients in the high country, along with a variety of other programs.

"It's a valuable service that governments wouldn't be able to provide if they had to pay for all of the hours of voluntary effort. Now we need all levels of government to get on board with the redevelopment plan for the facilities which are not meeting modern standards and need replacement," he said.

Fundraising achievement

Mr Chester said he was impressed that Bairnsdale Neighbourhood House had undertaken its own fundraising efforts and also secured a $500,000 donation from highly respected local business identity John Dahlsen.

"It's a great start but government help is needed. The estimated cost for the redevelopment is more than $6 million and I'm keen to work with all levels of government to secure grant funding to get this project done."

"It's a credit to Leanne Jennings, the board members and volunteers that they achieve so much in such a confined space at the moment. Demand for services is growing and we need to help build a new home for our Neighbourhood House in Bairnsdale," Mr Chester said.

Pictures from Darren Chester MP website.


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