Community News

KMA Clarence Valley Black Belt Success School students. Image: Contributed

Gulmarrad roadside get-together

Last Saturday, Gulmarrad residents held their 4th monthly gathering on the road verge. They met on the side of the road because Gulmarrad has no public spaces or meeting places. In fact, NCPHN (North Coast Primary Health Network) has identified Gulmarrad as having a high risk of social isolation and high car dependency (which leads to poorer mental and physical health). Because of this, the commonwealth government project hasfunded portable furniture (enabling residents to gather on the side of the road).

The ‘Community Facilities for Gulmarrad’ group is working hard to acquire facilities in Gulmarrad, and want to thank all 5 candidates in the upcoming state election for coming to show support.

Four of the five candidates stayed to test their skills with a large group of students from the KMA Clarence Valley Black Belt Success School. Led by Eric Blair, KMA is a new and fun way to keep you and your kids fit and healthy whilst learning valuable life skills.

The other theme of the day was a toy swap but numbers were down considerably from previous gatherings. The group understands why parents did not want their children playing beside the road and would not consider the venue safe. Vehicles can legally travel at 80km per hour just a few metres away and right past the school. We need a safer place to hold community get-togethers.

So we will continue to strive to get a permanent fenced property here in central Gulmarrad; somewhere that our 1700 adults and children can exercise and connect socially, a property that has a playground and outdoor seating which are open to the public allyear round. We would hope to have something functioning in the building most days to provide a destination for residents. Perhaps a community run op-shop where the profits go back to the community.

Chris Gulaptis acknowledged that Gulmarrad does need facilities but, he stated, residents need to work with the council or other organisation that can buy property. Other suggestions included trading council owned land for property in Gulmarrad. This is where we are at. The Community Facilities for Gulmarrad group has done more than enough background work and is ready to go should the right candidate arrive from any corner to help.

Grace Westera