Cobar Shire Councillors last week voted unanimously to contribute $85,000 to the Cobar Miners Memorial Project.
Chairman and instigator of the memorial project Barry Knight was hard pressed to wipe the smile off his face last Friday
afternoon, a full day after the decision was made at last Thursday’s Ordinary Council Meeting.
“I didn’t expect it,” a jubilant Mr Knight told The Cobar Weekly.
“I wouldn’t have been too surprised if the decision had went the other way.
“That’s their prerogative,” he said of the councillors.
Mr Knight said he was also quite surprised that the decision had been unanimous.
“I had spoken to all of the councillors prior to the meeting,” he said.
Mr Knight was also called upon at last week’s meeting to give an update on the project and where his committee was at with its fundraising.
He advised councillors they had raised $115,000 to date of the estimated $400,000 total cost of the project.
Mr Knight said the addition of a council contribution of $85,000 would give them a total of $200,000.
He said with their total now at that level they had a much better chance of obtaining 50:50 government funding to complete the project.
“We meet that criteria of the grant application and it adds more weight to our application.”
He said in light of Cobar’s 150 years of mining anniversary coming up, he believes the State Government would look more favourably on the application.
Mr Knight said council’s contribution of $85,000 comes with conditions, which he was happy to abide by.
“The project will be a committee of council with council and community representatives on it.”
Councillors voted to set aside $85,000 from the budget which would not get allocated to the project unless the grant was approved.
“There’s also an understanding that we still fundraise for the project,” Mr Knight said.
“But I had always planned to do that anyway.”
Councillors also decided to approach the local mining companies to ask them to provide a greater contribution to the miners memorial.
Mr Knight was meeting with State Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries yesterday in the hopes that Mr Humphries would put in a good word in support of his funding application.
Once built, the memorial will ultimately become a council-owned and maintained facility.
“They’re getting a $400,000 asset for $85,000,” Mr Knight said.