Keen interest from Warrumbungle residents saw many visitors to the second Warrumbungle Building Expo held on Friday, 6 May, at the Coonabarabran Town Hall.
Sponsored by the Warrumbungle Shire Mayor’s Bushfire Appeal and organised by Warrumbungle Shire Council, the Building Expo featured an array of building suppliers and services that cater to residents in and around Coonabarabran, together with guest presentations.
With stall holders on the day claiming they enjoyed the opportunity to showcase their products and ‘sow the seeds’ of their services to new and existing clients, many visitors were able to take the rare opportunity of seeing all things relating to building in the one venue.
“The concept is good and the organisation on the Shire’s behalf is to be commended,” said exhibitor, Kerry Resch, of local business, Resch’s Kitchens and Bathrooms.
“It is always good to show support to these events. We don’t receive many enquiries from the event, but, being out there you never know where exposure may go as far as business is concerned, so it’s definitely worth participating.”
Well known previous Coonabarabran resident and astronomer, Dr Fred Watson, delivered presentations throughout the day on what the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) does, and why there are lighting- restriction policies in place near Coonabarabran.
Council’s general manager, Steve Loane stressed the importance of the internationally recognised and valued role the AAO plays in the world of astronomy research.
“The Warrumbungle Shire Council lighting policy restricts the installation of upward facing lights for an 18-kilometre radius around the AAO facility. This policy is all about supporting the successful work undertaken at the AAO, which in years past has included the development of the Big Bang Theory and the Dark Matter Theory,” commented Mr Loane.
“Dr Fred Watson was able to talk about the proposed Warrumbungle Dark Sky Park project, which has been submitted to the International Dark Sky Association. If the submission is successful, our region will be the first Dark Sky Park declared in Australia, attracting visitors and researchers in the field of astronomy from all over the world.”
Presentations by the Rural Fire Service on bushfire risk planning proved popular, as did meeting and greeting with the development services’ team from Warrumbungle Shire Council. Staff were available to discuss the development application process, building approval legislation and environmental health, amongst the range of services provided by local government.
Centacare, which provides a range of social welfare services to children and families, had staff on hand to offer information and support.
“Under the Australian Government’s Drought Assistance Package, Centacare has been working in the Warrumbungle community to provide family and relationship support and services,” said Louise Hennessy, community programs and drought assistance coordinator.
“In 2015, Centacare set up a stall at the Building Expo to be on hand to offer support to the community, recognising the possible effect of adversities, such as drought or fire. Families and relationships are very important for coping.
“At the invitation of the Shire Council, Centacare again set up a stall at the 2016 Building Expo, as it is in times of difficulty that having someone to talk to, someone to listen, that can make all the difference,” concluded Ms Hennessy.
“The Building Expo created a lot of interest and was well supported by the community. Thanks to the Catholic Ladies Auxiliary for providing a delicious morning tea, Centacare for the jam and scones available at the Gecko Grind coffee van, and to Rotary for the barbecue lunch,” Mr Loane said.
“The Building Expo was born in 2015 as an occasion for residents affected by the 2013 Wambelong Bushfire to find information on starting the building journey, whilst enjoying fascinating presentations and meeting face-to-face with building suppliers and service providers.
“The Building Expo has also become a great opportunity for all residents in the Warrumbungle shire to see what is available for building in our region in the one venue.”
Warrumbungle Shire Council’s development services team provided information on local government services: Dale Oliver, building certifier, Leeane Ryan, director of development services (left), and Ashleigh Stewart, town planner, with Peter Morrissey.