After close to six years of planning, the Cobar Miners Memorial Concept 2.0 is now set to go ahead.
The community-driven project, headed up by local Barry Knight, proposed to erect a memorial to miners in the heritage Park at the eastern entrance to town.
The project received significant community support with more than $100,000 collected in donations for the build.
Cobar Shire Council also offered its support to the project and in 2018 Council was
successful in securing both Federal and
State Government grants to assist with the project.
A State Government contribution of $360,028 from the Stronger Country Communities Fund (matched with a co-contribution of $89,950 from Council) and $349,777 coming from the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund, helped to push the project budget up to almost $900,000.
After going out to tender in 2019, the project had to be revised after the original design came in well over budget.
Council has recently finalised the Cobar Miners Memorial Concept 2.0 plan and an updated price from the contractor met the budget.
The new design has been described as “simple, elegant and robust” and is marked by a symbolic entry to “underground” that imitates walking into a mine tunnel.
The tunnel will be designed in the style of a mine ‘tag board’ and 225 brass plaques on the board will hold the names of the miners who died in accidents at work and did not ‘tag off’ at the end of their shift.
Other local miners who died of mining related illnesses will also be remembered in the memorial.
Council is now aiming to commence construction in August for the project to be completed by the end of the year.
Mr Knight said he was pleased the wheels have finally been put into motion for this long awaited project to go ahead.
“I’m happy that we’ll finally see some bricks and mortar going ahead,” he told The Cobar Weekly.
“It’s something that the community said they wanted as way of honouring our lost miners.”
Mr Knight said it was also a bonus that the memorial will be built by a local contractor and the money will stay in town.