Parkes Shire Council and its mayor Ken Keith OAM have a very special memento to remind them of an historic and iconic day that happened in Parkes on December 13 last year.
It was of course the beginning of construction of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail line, where Cr Keith and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack joined other officials, stakeholders and dignitaries in turning the first sod in Coopers Road, Parkes.
Inland Rail staff member Cindy Nutley was present at Parkes Shire Council's October 22 ordinary meeting to make a special presentation.
In her hands she had two shovels - the very same that were used to turn the sod that day - with wording engraved on the back of the shovels.
One was for Parkes Shire Council for its role in and support for the national project, the other for Cr Keith - a landholder whose land has been impacted by the new rail line and who was present at the December 13 ceremony.
Cindy said shovels have been distributed to major stakeholders who attended the sod turn, including Mr McCormack, Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton, Inland Rail CEO Richard Wankmuller, Tomingley farmer Warren Skinner, Australian Rail Track Corporation staff and contractors INLink.
"Ken is striking it lucky and gets to have one on his own as one of the landholders," Cindy said at the council presentation.
Along with the date of the sod turn and name of stakeholders, these words were also inscribed "With thanks to Parkes Shire Council and its staff for their continued support in helping to build this once-in-a-generation project".
Cindy also presented general manager Kent Boyd a framed photograph of council staff with Mr McCormack at the sod turning ceremony.
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