Aboriginal artefacts discovered at Nexus industrial hub at Ettamogah

ALBURY Council’s plan to develop the Nexus industrial estate has encountered another unexpected setback.

Former Albury mayor Alice Glachan at the launch of the Nexus industrial hub in 2011.

Former Albury mayor Alice Glachan at the launch of the Nexus industrial hub in 2011.

A $8.4 million commitment to providing roads and other infrastructure in the 55-hectare area at Ettamogah has been significantly delayed due to the discovery of Aboriginal artefacts which led to council requiring a heritage assessment and restriction to a large part of the site.

The issue, which has since been resolved, was revealed in the works program June quarter update tabled at the engineering committee meeting on Monday night.

The works were slated for 2016-17 financial year but $4.3 million is being carried forward to this financial year and the revised completion date is October.

“The artefacts from the region’s Aboriginal past have been preserved after significant assessment,” mayor Kevin Mack said.

“Some of the stone artefacts have been relocated to appropriate sites, following a rigorous investigation as required by the Heritage Act.

“This assessment was undertaken with stakeholder consultation, to ensure the optimum preservation of those items deemed important to the area’s heritage.

“This intensive investigation, combined with bouts of inclement weather, caused a delay of about six months.

“But now that the artefacts have been appropriately cared for, the way has been cleared for construction work to continue.”

Two years ago council agreed to press on with the creation of Nexus despite having to forfeit $7 million in federal government funding for an upgrade of the nearby Davey Road interchange.

The council was banking on the NSW government providing a matching amount for the upgrade to full-diamond interchange with two south-facing ramps.

But the funding wasn’t forthcoming and the project remains in limbo.

The unfinished Nexus works is the biggest item in the carry forward projects from 2016-17 which have a total value of $16.2 million.

The council is also spending $4.4 million connecting water and sewer to Nexus.