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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Cobargo Innovation Hub to be officially opened Dec 10th 2022

Paul West, host, ABC South East NSW was joined on the line by Jennifer Westacott, the chief executive of the Business Council of Australia on December 9th 2022 regarding the opening of the Cobargo Innovation Hub, the bushfire recovery and BizRebuild The innovation hub is to be officially opening this weekend with Jennifer Westacott telling Paul: "It has taken a couple of years obviously, the fires ravaged Cobargo on New Year's Eve in 2019. It's taken us to tomorrow, to get the innovation hub going. We've contributed as BizRebuild, the project that hangs off the Business Council, about $880,000. The community has raised about $100,000. But most importantly, the project has created about 1800 hours of paid work for tradies in the community. Committee members have volunteered about 2000 hours of their time. "So, it's really been a great community-business effort to get us to this point where we are tomorrow, where we open this this innovation hub and really continue the journey of recovery and rebuilding from the devastation of those fires in 2019/2020". "It's going to be an all-purpose hub. So it's basically going to be retail, but also people wanting to do innovative things. We're going to have Sally Wilson, who is a local artist there; Zoe Pook, a local Jeweller; Life’s Little Pleasures, a giftware shop; Robyn Williams, Ledlight by design. So it'll be a place where people can come together, do different things, whether it's art, whether it's retail, whether it’s wanting to get together in community spaces. "The most important part of this BizRebuild is making sure that after these devastating local events, and we're going to have a lot more of these, that we don't lose the community. The community is really driven around what happens in town centres, what happens with local businesses. "Our job is to make sure that we get the money into communities, to make sure that people keep the glue of the community going, which is local businesses, local artists, local communities getting together. So that's the role the hub will play. As of course, the work continues to restore what was taken away in those in those terrible fires." Paul asked "And about the building itself, I believe it's quite a resilient piece of architecture?" Ms Westacott responded "It is, it's quite beautiful, actually. It will become a permanent feature of the town. But it's been done by an organisation called FormFlow. So it's using new products, new design methods, very sustainable building products. It's actually quite beautiful. And I think it will be quite a landmark and quite a tourist destination. I hope that people from around New South Wales will come and look and visit and not only see a beautiful building, but also see what it means to keep the community going and get a community working together and be a real gathering place for people. So that whilst we mourn the loss of what was taken away in those terrible fires, we kind of renew and we rebuild, and we get that sense of the community coming back."


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