'If we don’t have anyone in that building, it’s going to keep getting vandalised': Kidd

NOT SO MAGICAL: The ELF is only occupied 15 per cent of the time after NetWaste vacated the building. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0516jkelf1
NOT SO MAGICAL: The ELF is only occupied 15 per cent of the time after NetWaste vacated the building. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0516jkelf1

GROUPS looking for meeting space have been encouraged to consider the Environmental Learning Facility (ELF) after occupancy dropped to 15 per cent.

Councillor Neil Jones asked for a report earlier this month on attracting broader occupancy.

“This is a very valuable asset for the town and the community,” he said.

“We need to make it known that the community owns the building … and maybe even get a tenant that can occupy the office space.”

NetWaste previously called the ELF home and the 31 NetWaste councils funded its construction.

General manager Garry Styles confirmed NetWaste had chosen to move to Lords Place and rent privately, and Cr Jones acknowledged the organisation had needed to expand.

Councillor Reg Kidd said the council should approach the Department of Education to have more schools use the facility.

“If we don’t have anyone in that building, it’s going to keep getting vandalised, there’s no doubt about it,” he said.

The ELF was built at Orange Showground to promote sustainable lifestyles and building techniques, using recycled timber sourced from factories, demolitions and bridges. 

The Central West Environment Council and Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange (ECCO) continue to meet there.

A NetWaste spokeswoman declined to comment.

Interested groups can contact Orange City Council on 6393 8000.