Media release | 22 April 2021
The NSW Government has awarded a significant civil construction contract to an Indigenous company from Nowra to restore a waterfront reserve at Windang.
Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP announced the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Crown Lands has awarded the contract to ALI Civil Pty Ltd to restore the site that is of Aboriginal significance.
“The NSW Government has provided $400,000 from its COVID-19 stimulus program to remove a derelict block of units from waterfront Crown land to create more green public open space for the Illawarra,” Mr Ward said.
“The project will allow for the sensitive restoration of the land at 17 Judbooley Parade to benefit the entire community while protecting Aboriginal relics on site.
“Fishing, feasting and other traditional activities were undertaken for thousands of years on Lake Illawarra and its foreshore so the project needs to be sympathetic to the site’s historical and cultural significance.”
ALI Civil Director Darren Brown said the project will employ about six Indigenous workers, and will be done with consultation and approval from Heritage NSW and the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council on demolition and landscaping plans.
“This Windang project is a one in 10,000 opportunity to restore a significant Aboriginal site which will need to be managed sensitively with a range of government and Indigenous stakeholders,” Mr Brown said.
“The old two-storey unit block will need to be dismantled carefully by hand to protect any relics located on site, and once the building is safely removed the area can be revegetated in consultation with the Aboriginal community.
“It would be great to see the restoration of the site to open space provide for interpretation of the Aboriginal history of the area.
“At the end of the day I want to make everyone happy with this project,” Mr Brown said.
Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey MP said that the COVID-19 stimulus program would support regional jobs while enhancing public land for the Illawarra.
“Once the building is removed this lakeside land will become part of Edith Lacey Park providing an extended area of green open space reserve overlooking Lake Illawarra for the enjoyment of local residents and families,” Minister Pavey said.