In just four months local Barry Knight’s dream of building a miners memorial is expected to become a reality with the ceremonial first sod turned on the project on Friday by the Minister for Western NSW Adam Marshall.
Also joining Mr Marshall were Sam Farraway MLC and State Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders who were travelling with the Minister last week to a number of western area towns to speak to locals.
While in Cobar they met with Mr Knight and the Cobar Miners Memorial contractor, local builder Heath Prendergast from As Per Plan Constructions, to discuss the project with Mr Prendergast advising he expected it to be a 16 week turnaround.
The memorial aims to honour the 180
people who lost their lives while working in the mines of the Cobar Shire and, once completed, it will resemble an underground mine shaft.
“The local workers who have devastatingly lost their lives working in the Cobar mines will have their names forever immortalised on the walls of the memorial,” Mr Marshall said.
“These tragedies rocked the Cobar community, but this new memorial will provide the town with a place of remembrance, where people can gather and reflect.”
Deputy Mayor Peter Abbott said the memorial will ensure that those who have died will never have their names forgotten and will help the community heal.
“Displays within the memorial will feature names, photographs, stories and maps that tell the story of those who lost their lives and provide insight into the history of the town,” Cr Abbott said.
“The memorial has been designed as a place for people to meet with family and friends and enjoy the park, as well as encourage visitors to walk to nearby tourist attractions.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the Cobar Miners Memorial had been made possible by a $360,000 grant from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund and a significant financial contribution by Cobar Shire Council.
“This memorial will be a fitting tribute to the memories of loved ones who have perished, and I thank Cobar Shire Council for its commitment and contribution to this project,” Mr Barilaro said.
“When completed, the memorial will become another must visit location in Cobar, providing tourists with further reason to stay in town longer, and spend money in local businesses.
“The $400million Stronger Country Communities Fund is part of the NSW Government’s $1.7billion Regional Growth Fund, which is being invested in local programs and infrastructure that improve the lives of people living in regional NSW.”
The $1.7billion Regional Growth Fund, together with the $4.2billion Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund, are delivering once-in-a-generation infrastructure that generates opportunities, investment and jobs across regional NSW.