About this project

GeoLINK meets Richmond Valley Council’s need to get the ball rolling for the replacement of a community hall ravaged by fire.

When the devastating Busby’s Flat Road bushfire ripped through the small town of Rappville in October 2019, very little was spared. Amongst the devastation of lost homes and other property, was the town’s social centre, Rappville Community Hall.

Rappville Community Hall had long been the nucleus of the community, but it was important when planning its next chapter to make sure it meets community needs not just for now but into the future.

GeoLINK’s town planning and environmental services

GeoLINK were engaged by Richmond Valley Council to provide town planning and environmental services to prepare the Development Application for the new community hall including supporting documentation. We provided the following services for the project:

  • Planning advice and Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE)
  • Site waste minimisation and management plan (SWMMP)
  • On-site effluent disposal suitability assessment
  • Bushfire hazard assessment.

GeoLINK’s proven track record
GeoLINK were chosen due to our multi-disciplinary services and impressive track record of high-quality assessments, design solutions and processes for similar projects. Our proven ability to satisfy client expectations, especially when communities are involved, set us apart from our competitors.

But the clincher was our reputation to effectively guide projects through the planning approval process and for completing projects on budget and on time. This was particularly important for the client given the hardships the local community had already faced.

A space for the future
Rebuilding was always on the cards, but Richmond Valley Council were careful to use this opportunity to get the locals opinions about how that should best be done. Community ideas and inspiration for the new facility were integral to the design process.

Key too, was ensuring the space would be safe from any future bushfire threat. GeoLINK’s ability to provide multi-disciplinary services across planning, bushfire assessment and environmental services meant a holistic approach to the project’s planning and approval phases.

Funding for a community
Richmond Valley Council received critical support following the bushfires from a $1.4 million bushfire recovery grant from the Australian Government. $500,000 was allocated to the hall rebuild.

Additional funding and expert assistance came from BizRebuild, a not-for-profit disaster recovery initiative of the Business Council of Australia, which contributed an additional $500,000. GeoLINK worked in conjunction with several project stakeholders to ensure the project gained the necessary planning approvals.

Road to recovery
For local residents, it’s been a long road to recovery. But the tender for hall construction has been awarded, with works commencing in August 2021.

GeoLINK is happy to see this project coming to fruition. With completion expected in April 2022, Rappville locals have all eyes on a new beginning with their new hall that promises much hope for the future of their community.


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