Opening the doors of hope for the community of Rappville

27 February 2023

The opening of a new community hall in Rappville is a testament to the resilience and spirit of the local community who have endured two natural disasters in recent years.

“I recognise for everyone touched by the bushfires in 2019 and the floods just last year, it has been a long, personal, emotional, and challenging journey to get here,” BizRebuild patron Sir Peter Cosgrove told the official opening event in the Richmond Valley village in New South Wales today.

“It is impossible to fathom the trauma and the impact on your community over the last three years.”

The hall project was jointly funded by BizRebuild, a bushfire-recovery initiative of the Business Council, Richmond Valley Council and the federal government.

BCA members, made up of Australia’s largest employers, donated to BizRebuild to ensure small and local businesses could get back on their feet and to help communities move forward.

The September 2019 Busbys Flat bushfire burnt almost 50 per cent of the local government area and the local community was then hit again floods in early 2022.

Former Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove was in Rappville to officially open the new hall, which will form a key part of the community’s revitalisation. 

“Businesses are the glue that keep communities together and this project is not just a building; it’s a symbol of strength, persistence, resilience and courage,” he said.

The hall was constructed by local building company Bennett Robertson builders and designed by award-winning Sydney architect Virginia Kerridge with landscape design by Jane Irwin.

Without the collaboration with BizRebuild, rebuilding this valuable community asset would not have been possible according to the Mayor of Richmond Valley Council, Robert Mustow.

“It’s a proud moment for me as Mayor to be here today to deliver on that commitment and I thank BizRebuild for their contribution – without their funding, this project would not have been achieved.”

Since its inception BizRebuild has donated over $8 million to small businesses and communities affected by natural disasters and remains committed to standing by local communities to rebuild and recover.


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