Nov 13, 2009

Rudd Government gives Wayside a $3 million lifeline

Rudd Government gives Wayside a $3 million lifeline

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

November 13 2009

The Rudd Labor Government has agreed in principle to contribute $3 million towards the redevelopment of The Wayside Chapel, to ensure they can continue to provide their invaluable service to severely disadvantaged Sydney residents.

This infrastructure project, part of the Economic Stimulus Plan, will support jobs today while providing significant long term benefits for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

The Wayside Chapel has provided its brand of unconditional care and support to people on and around the streets of Kings Cross since it was first opened by Rev. Ted Noffs as a “social experiment” in 1964.

The buildings it uses date back even further to the 1930s and are now deteriorating due to age, fire damage, and general wear and tear. As a result, 40 per cent of the existing premises are unusable by the organisation’s 200 plus volunteers and staff.

The redevelopment will involve the refurbishment of one building and the replacement of three existing two storey terraces with a new, modern four storey building, with construction expected to take 11 months and the refurbishment a further six months.

The project will support up to 50 construction jobs, with opportunities for apprenticeships and traineeships.

All up, the redevelopment will cost an estimated $7 million, with the balance of the funding coming from the NSW Government, the financial arm of the Uniting Church and donations. The Government’s contribution will be subject to its normal grants processes.

Each year, thousands of people visit The Wayside Chapel for assistance and access to essential health, welfare and related services. Many more simply stop by for a chat, a coffee or a quiet place where they can find company and acceptance.

The project is expected to go to tender in early 2010. It is another example of the immediate employment and longer term community benefits being delivered by the Rudd Labor Government’s Economic Stimulus Plan.