The second stage of the Port MacDonnell $930,000 waterfront project was officially opened last week. Grant District Council chief executive Darryl Whicker, Mayor Richard Sage and Elders of Boandik Country opened the newly completed, family-friendly project.
Alongside a traditional smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country by Elders Uncle Ken Jones and Aunty Michelle Jacquelin-Furr, Mr Whicker and Mr Sage thanked their colleagues and the community for their support and guidance on the project.
Members of the public were in attendance alongside officers and councillors, as well as a few members of Mount Gambier City Council including Mayor Lynette Martin. Absent as apologies were South Australian Deputy Premier Vickie Chapman, Member for Barker Tony Pasin, Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell and City of Mount Gambier acting chief executive Barbara Cernovskis.
The project largely consists of a new, accessible playground and community space, which also includes elements of Boandik storytelling and local craftsmanship. But alongside this is the addition of a swing designed specifically for children and adults in wheelchairs, the Liberty Swing. “The stage two development has been added to our coastal environment to make areas that are relaxing and attractive – somewhere to relax and soak up the ambience of the area,” Mayor Sage said.
“It will be a place that will continue to make the community more cohesive and the area will also be a valuable resource that will assist in educating those that visit this space about our environment and also some of our Aboriginal heritage. “Young children and older, from far and wide, will certainly enjoy our new nature-based playground. It will also be wonderful to see the concept has included the Liberty Swing, which will encourage all families to share this newly developed area.”
The project started in October 2020 and has transformed the town entrance and play precinct, while connecting the works undertaken in Stage 1 across the Port MacDonnell foreshore.