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Indigenous company to build Australian Opal Centre

New Business Manager with Barpa Construction Services, Jeremy Clark. Photo contributed

A contract for the construction of the Australian Opal Centre at Lightning Ridge has been awarded to Indigenous Construction Company – Barpa Construction Services.

At Walgett Shire Council’s public forum last week, the Chairman of the Australian Opal Centre Raymond Griffin revealed that the predominantly Indigenous-owned construction company would sign the contract within a week.

Construction of the foundational structure will commence in August and is expected to span approximately 57 weeks, with the foundations estimated to take around six months.

If all goes according to plan, the completion of the project’s first stage is anticipated by August/September of next year.

Mr Griffin expressed enthusiasm about the construction activity in Lightning Ridge, saying that trucks and construction crews would soon arrive, bringing positive economic prospects for the town and its surroundings.

He said that the appointment of Barpa Construction Services as a majority Indigenous-owned company is particularly significant as it aligns with Lightning Ridge’s cultural values and identity.

The announcement of the signed contract was received with applause from Walgett Shire Councillors and staff, who commended Mr Griffin for his strategic vision in spearheading the development of the Australian Opal Centre.

Walgett Shire Deputy Mayor, Greg Rummery, offered his congratulations and opened the floor for further comments and questions from the council.

Discussion then centred on the positive attributes of Barpa and the promising future of the project.

Councillor Colin Hundy expressed his congratulations, acknowledging the significance of tourism and mining for Lightning Ridge and the wider Walgett Shire. {…]

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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