27 March 2023
Mr COULTON (Parkes—Chief Nationals Whip) (16:33): Next week I’ll be travelling to Wilcannia to attend a ceremony that I’ve been looking forward to for some quite some time. It will be the sod turn—the ceremonial start—of the Baaka centre. The Baaka centre will be a facility right in the middle of Wilcannia that will host Barkindji culture. Over the years, a lot of the iconic memorabilia belonging to the Barkindji have been located in various properties and hidden away, so the Baaka centre will be a cultural centre with a keeping place for the Barkindji to put their artefacts and important relics in a safe place. It will also be a place where visitors can come and understand more about the culture of the area. Wilcannia is one of the most beautiful towns in the Parkes electorate. It’s on the banks of the Darling River. I was at the meeting where the community got behind this project, which was funded by the previous federal government and the now previous state government. It will turn what is a burnt-out relic of a Knox and Downs building into a very appropriate cultural centre that will be very important to the Barkindji people of the Darling River.