Alexandrina Council Community Hub, Goolwa Terrace, Cittaslow Corner Precinct

This project is part of Cittaslow Best Practices Contest 2017

Participated by Goolwa

Urban Life Quality

Summary project
The Alexandrina Council Community Hub - Goolwa Terrace Precinct has seen the coming together of three infrastructure projects for progressive community outcomes in public health and tourism. The Community Hub involved the moving of the Alexandrina Centre for Positive Ageing to a new location with an enhanced vision to be an inter-generational space. The Goolwa Terrace Precinct upgrade involved mainstreet works to address traffic management issues while also improving amenity, including public art and public wifi. The upgrade of the Old Chambers offered an opportunity to lend the space as the headquarters for a community group (Cittaslow Goolwa). The result was a fresh, vibrant, walkable precinct that generated renewed interest in the Community Hub as a space for socialisation and assistance, improved al fresco spaces for local businesses and appealing access to the iconic Goolwa Wharf Precinct. Launched by His Excellency Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia on 6 November 2016, the Community Hub is an exciting new home for Council’s community programs where people can live life to their full potential. The whole precinct is now a welcoming, beautiful space where people can meet with friends, old and new; learn and share skills and be involved in their community. 

Goal project
Council’s vision is ‘Connecting Communities’ and these three interconnected projects are all about serving this vision. Three of Council’s four strategic aspirations were supported through the project – Innovate throughout our Region, Participate in Wellbeing and Activate our Spaces. The projects demonstrated ‘proactive leadership’ of Council in 

optimising opportunities for strategic land swaps and obtaining State Government funding. They supported a ‘resilient economy’ through working with nearby businesses to upgrade their facades in keeping with the al fresco spaces Council developed. They facilitated ‘self-sustaining communities’ through providing the Cittaslow Goolwa group with a space to grow their membership base and offer a headquarters while they showcase Alexandrina on the international stage with the International Cittaslow Assembly to be held in May 2017. The projects enabled ‘memorable experiences’ with appealing, walkable access to the iconic Goolwa Wharf Precinct and local art galleries. The Community Hub project ensured ‘accessible services’ with various community programs now being available from the new space, including youth programs making it a truly intergenerational environment. Further accessible services include an electric car charging station tucked into the precinct behind the Goolwa Visitor Information Centre. 

In addition to specific community programs, the Community Hub-Goolwa Terrace Precinct project also provides our ageing demographic with a sense of social connectivity with the centre of town, and being near shops and services which has long term public health outcomes (linked to our legislatively required Regional Public Health Plan). 

The redevelopment of Goolwa Terrace is a component of an overall strategy to increase tourism visitation and overnights stays in the region. The investment proposed for the Goolwa Wharf Precinct is designed to improve the areas amenities, the business activity within the precinct and enhance the regional tourism appeal of the site. 

Result project
The launch day of the Community Hub – Goolwa Terrace Precinct entertained approximately 150 people with a multi-stakeholder, multi-event approach. It included the public art release of new wooden sculptures and the conduct by Ngarrindjeri Elder Major Sumner of a traditional Smoking Ceremony. Attracting the Governor of South Australia to open the Community Hub was a major achievement. A representative of DPTI also attended as the Minister was unable to attend. 

The Community Hub is a fantastic example of Council putting Community Development principles into action. The Community Hub has had 5111 visits, 40 volunteers and 21 programs operating. 

The new space sits in the heart of the community and has allowed a “shift” in the direction of Community Connect programs. The Hub gives opportunities for the community to link and share. This participation reflects the aspirations of the community: 

  • “The new Hub is bright and airy, it’s also easier to access and not stuffy” 
  • “The new Hub is excellent. It’s fun to come here and do things and I really enjoy the company” 
  • “Whoever I talk to knows where we are, I think we get noticed much more in the new place.” 
  • “Our group has grown since we moved, we can all sit together, it’s a really positive change.” 
  • Activation of this precinct will support a diverse range of community and tourism activities. 

Redevelopment of Goolwa Terrace provides an attractive community meeting space situated adjacent to cafes and restaurants in the central business district. Tourism is the second largest industry within the Alexandrina Council region, with the majority of local businesses being food and hospitality-based. 

The addition of lighting in both sites will afford local business an opportunity to extend opening hours to capture increased trade. Alexandrina Council offers a dynamic annual arts and culture program which attracts community members and tourists to displays and functions held at the Signal Point Complex, Centenary Hall and South Coast Regional Arts Centre. 

The new space also provides a viable alternative as a space for public events and activities. This includes being a focal point for the upcoming International Cittaslow Assembly, to be held in May 2017, which will see approximately 100 delegates from around the world attend Goolwa. 

Positive comments on Facebook from the community included, “Well done Alexandrina Council - the streetscape looks great and very user friendly and also love the new playground on Barrage Road. Keep up the good work.” “It looks wonderful, I can just see in the summer how busy it’s going to be. And I love all the wooden statues amazing. Well done Alexandrina Council.” “Watching the plan unfold has been great, and very, very good results, well done to the whole team!” 

Public art throughout the upgraded area also recognises the significant history and culture of the Ngarrindjeri Nation, which occupied the lower River Murray, Lake Alexandrina, western Fleurieu Peninsula and Coorong for over 15,000 years. 

Finance (costs and benefits) 

  1. At a total budgeted project cost of $1,154,253, Council had the Goolwa Terrace and BF Laurie Lane Revitalisation Project in its Long Term Financial Plan, subject to external funding. In 2015, Council was successful in attracting $557,125, representing 48% of the project cost, in grant funding from the State Government Places for People funding. 
  2. Community Hub fitout was $323,000 
  3. Cittaslow Corner building fitout was $12,000. Council is also forgoing commercial rent to enable this community group to use the building and grow their membership base. 

Motivation for the awards
The Community Hub is a fantastic example of Council putting Community Development principles into action. It is perfectly fitting on Cittaslow spirit. Three  projects for progressive community outcomes in public health and tourism, involving different generations of active people in favor of easy living for all. The Goolwa Terrace Precinct upgrade involved mainstreet works to address traffic management issues while also improving amenity, including public art and public wifi. The upgrade of the Old Chambers offered an opportunity to lend the space as the headquarters for a community group (Cittaslow Goolwa). The result was a fresh, vibrant, walkable precinct that generated renewed interest in the Community Hub as a space for socialisation and assistance, improved al fresco spaces for local businesses and appealing access to the iconic Goolwa Wharf Precinct.