A lot has been happening in the Parkes CBD of late, and last week the Deputy Prime Minister received a special tour to inspect progress made so far of the $8.5 million revitalisation projects.
Mayor Ken Keith showed Michael McCormack, who is also the member for Riverina, and Sam Farraway, Member of the Legislative Council (MLC), the Cooke Park Multipurpose Centre and expansion of the Parkes Shire Library.
The tour was going to include the upgrades to Lower Clarinda Street, but daylight ran out as Michael also visited new projects in Forbes on his first visit to the Central West since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“I am very impressed with all of it,” he said afterwards. “I’m just blown away by the size of the Cooke Park Multipurpose Centre. The Elvis Festival will now take up the added area and have so much more scope. I can’t wait to perform a duet with the Mayor there – Suspicious Minds or Love Me Tender,” he said with a big smile.
The Deputy Prime Minister had only praise for the Parkes Shire Council singling it out as a “real can do council”.
The library and Cooke Park projects are both being built by Matthew Steventon from Cabonne Constructions in Molong after his company won both tenders.
The library, set to be completed in about eight weeks’ time in September, will become a Country Universities Centres (CUC) from next year. It was announced last month that Parkes will be one of nine new centres to be established.
CUC provides regional Australians with opportunities for higher education study without having to relocate to the city.
The multipurpose centre, to be completed by the end of the year, will become the focus point of the 2021 Elvis Festival.
By Maggi Barnard