WORK is expected to start this week on the Aboriginal Child and Family Centre at Porter Park at West Ballina.

Yesterday, at the official sod turning, Ballina mothers Akarna King and Cassandra Kelly said they couldn't wait for the new facility to open.

"Childcare is just so expensive," Ms King said.

"It becomes unaffordable ... we are looking forward to having this centre right here."

Chairwoman of the Local Reference Group Lenkunyar Roberts-Hickling said the purpose-built facility would have 59 places and be a family hub.

"There has been a lot of debate and discussion about the centre's location," she said.

"But the focus is now on the future and we are looking forward to getting the centre built so we can start improving health and education outcomes for local Aboriginal and disadvantaged children."

Ballina Shire mayor David Wright said the centre would be a "vital place of learning and nurturing".

"Overall I believe the whole community will embrace it," he said.



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