Work starts with a bang

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Not con­tent with a tra­di­tional turn­ing of the sod, the Shire of Ex­mouth used ex­plo­sives and coloured sand to mark the be­gin­ning of con­struc­tion at the $32m Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre.

The cen­tre will house the UWA Oceans In­sti­tute, the Du­rack Cen­tre of Tech­nol­ogy and fa­cil­i­ties such as a li­brary and an in­ter­pre­tive cen­tre.

Shire of Ex­mouth pres­i­dent Turk Shales said the cen­tre had been a 15-year dream.

“While there have been chal­lenges along the way, the po­ten­tial of this build­ing to help shape the fu­ture of our town makes ev­ery step of the process worth­while,” he said.

“The eco­nomic value of build­ing this cen­tre will be enor­mous for our com­mu­nity, with in­dica­tive fig­ures pro­ject­ing the lo­cal con­tent of the build­ing to be just over 28 per cent, which rep­re­sents an in­jec­tion of $6.4 mil­lion into lo­cal busi­nesses and jobs.

“Its flex­i­ble con­fig­u­ra­tion will en­sure the fa­cil­ity can cater for cul­tural events like mu­sic and drama per­for­mances, as well as tem­po­rary art and mu­seum ex­hi­bi­tions.”

Mr Shales said con­struc­tion of the cen­tre was the start of a jour­ney to­wards a more re­silient and sus­tain­able com­mu­nity.

Min­is­ter for Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Terry Red­man hol­stered his shovel to do the hon­ours of set­ting off the ex­plo­sion.

“I don’t think I have ever pushed a but­ton to set off some dy­na­mite be­fore so that was pretty ex­cit­ing,” he said.

“I think the re­search fa­cil­ity will have Statewide sig­nif­i­cance, prob­a­bly even be­yond that.

“The other part, which is prob­a­bly less recog­nised, but by free­ing up com­mer­cial space in town, by hav­ing peo­ple move to the Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre, it is also an as­set in the broader de­vel­op­ment of Ex­mouth.”

North West Cen­tral MLA Vince Cata­nia said hav­ing the UWA move into the cen­tre would help at­tract and re­tain peo­ple in town.

Mr Cata­nia said re­searchers work­ing at the fa­cil­ity would be spoilt, hav­ing the “best sci­ence project in the world”, the Nin­ga­loo Reef, on their doorstep.

A tra­di­tional sod turn­ing was held af­ter the ex­plo­sion.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

The Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre sod ex­plod­ing marks the start of con­struc­tion of the Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre.

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