Mayoral Column – Congratulations to Local Tradies – Mayor Denise Knight Opinion by News Of The Area - Modern Media - May 9, 2021 Congratulations to Local Tradies IT was great to be back on the Wiigulga Sports Complex site recently to mark the start of major works. It was also an opportunity to again underline the significance of the local Gumbaynggirr culture to the project. As well as the Wiigulga name – which refers to the black apple tree which is found locally and on the site – artwork by Mullaway-based Gumbaynggirr artist Tulli Stevens will be the basis of the main design theme for the Complex. To mark the occasion, local Elders Uncle Tony Perkins and Uncle Ian Brown provided a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony for the site. This latest milestone was also an opportunity to officially welcome to the site all the local subcontractors and consultants who will be working on the project, along with the main contractor Lahey Constructions. Around 16 tradies have already been contracted and more will come on board as the project moves forward. They are Mid North Coast Contractors, Nambucca Plumbing, Del Consulting, Boral, TFH, Faircloth and Reynolds, RLE, Wormald, Northrop, De Groot and Benson, Glenn Haig and Partners, Clarence Consultants, Newnham Karl Weir and Partners, Coates, Coffs Coast Cranes and Acheson Building Certification. This has been a community-led and community-focused project from its very beginnings, so I’m delighted to see that so many local tradies and businesses will be working on the build and fit-out. Around 140 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase alone. This is also a great example of how major stimulation projects are vital for the local economy as we continue to recover from the pandemic. Sod Turned at Cultural and Civic Space Site A big thank you to Uncle Mark Flanders and Tina Powell from the Yandaarra Advisory Committee for performing a Smoking Ceremony to highlight the start of work on the new Cultural and Civic Space building. It was the perfect way to mark a momentous day. Welcome on Board I very much enjoyed meeting the generous locals who are the latest members of Council’s Positive Ageing Advisory Committee and Disability Inclusion and Access Advisory Committee. These are important roles and I know all involved are looking forward to working with the new committee members. These are voluntary positions and it’s another example of the amazing generosity of local residents who are happy to share their time, expertise and knowledge – for free – simply to help their community. Thank you all.