Statement on the re-opening of the Tait-Duke Community Cottage in Tewantin

June 6, 2017


Statement on the re-opening of the Tait-Duke Community Cottage in Tewantin

It is a pleasure to be here today to join in the re-opening of the Tait-Duke Community Cottage in Tewantin.

This old timber holds a lot of memories. When Charles Tait and Emma Duke built this house in 1919 there was little here except for a few dirt roads and the Royal Mail Hotel. I wonder if they would recognise Tewantin today after nearly a century of residential and commercial development. What I am sure they would recognise is the community spirit shown by their daughter, Esme.

Esme was born in 1922 and lived in this house until 2009. She donated this historic Queenslander to the Noosa Shire Council so the public can enjoy it for generations to come. The house will serve as a community hub for Tewantin, giving local community organisations much needed meeting and office spaces.

I want to thank United Synergies and the Noosa Heads Rotary Club for managing this project and all the work they do in our community. This project provided an intensive traineeship that gave participants a Certificate I in Construction.

I want to thank TAFE Queensland and Hutchinson Builders for training them, and Bootsco, Trade Tools and Evolution Screen Printing Design for their support. Many of the trainees who participated in the project have gone on to secure further employment. It is great to see so many of them here today, equipped with new skills and experience that will serve them well in the future.

The Coalition Government invested $20,000 in this project as part of our Stronger Communities Programme. We are keen to support initiatives like this that get people job-ready and make our communities better places to live.

We recognise the effort of the Noosa Shire Council and want to work more with them in the future on projects like this. I am looking forward to seeing many more of these community driven projects in Tewantin and the Wide Bay area that deliver better services and provide new opportunities for people.

This is the cottage the community built. It is the result of one generous local’s commitment to Tewantin. I thank Ms Tait for her donation and hope it gives locals as much joy as it has given her over the years.

Tewantin’s development has been driven by the community’s preparedness to take risks and have a go. This is demonstrated in the hard work of the trainees and the local businesses who have invested in them. If Wide Bay is to prosper in the 21st century we need more partnerships between government, community and business to deliver projects that will deliver benefits for generations to come.

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