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Byron Shire
August 16, 2022

Caldera Environment Centre looking for a home – can you help?

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They have just brought the local Murwillumbah community together to celebrate the World Environment Day Festival, they were a key part of the information sharing and community support following the devastating flooding in Murwillumbah and its surrounds and they have been the driving force behind maintaining and securing the world-renowned heritage and landscapes of the Tweed Shire but now the Caldera Environment Centre (CEC) are homeless.

The Caldera Environment Centre needs a new home as rents rise in Murwillumbah. Photo supplied

‘The Caldera Environment Centre (CEC) in Murwillumbah has been a central hub for environmental issues over the past 30 years. Now due to unprecedented rent increases, the centre has been forced to close down,’ said CEC member Marion Riordan.

Developments that threatened Fingal and the top of Mt Nullum near Murwillumbah in the late 1980s, among others, were key to the birth of the CEC which was formed as they fought against these inappropriate developments. 

The Ocean Blue proposal for Fingal was officially investigated in one of the first ever NSW ICAC inquiries in 1989 examining council and state government corruption. The Mt Nullum ‘tourist/health resort’ development proposed near Uki, which included an escalator to the top of the summit, led to a Commission of Inquiry in relation to the rezoning of land. 

The [CEC] were able to prevent what would have been substantive changes to the rules to allow for “relocation” of significant wildlife corridors,’ in relation to the Mt Nullum development explained Ms Riordan.

‘At the time resident-type groups existed in the Tweed Shire but conservation groups were just starting to evolve spurred by the very real threat of Gold Coast-style development. The CEC was pivotal to what became a strong conservation movement in the Tweed region. Today we all reap the benefits as we experience the areas’ renowned natural wonders and wildlife habitat – preserved and free for all to enjoy.’

Flood recovery 

Following the recent destructive floods that had significant and ongoing impacts on Murwillumbah the CEC acted as a place for members and the community, in general, to meet up, give support – emotional and practical to one another – and help with cleanups or just helping others find where to go for help.

‘The CEC has always been an INFORMATION sharing place where you’ll find the right person for your issue especially if it’s a community concern,’ said Ms Riordan. 

‘We are now really desperate to find a premises in town that we can afford with our shop model of sourcing sustainable, ethical, fair trade products and the only one selling native trees and plants for this area,’ she told The Echo.

If you are able to support the CEC in finding a new location please contact them on [email protected] or call 0416 009 616. 


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2 COMMENTS

  1. It’ll be sad to see it go forever if there’s no way to help them. We NEED the Caldera Environment Centre in Murwillumbah. Its the best little useful environmentally conscious informative shop in town.

  2. Surely a community organisation such as this should have some financial support from, or premises provided by council or government.
    There always seems to be enough funds or grants spent on more frivolous or ridiculous ideas/installations.

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