The long-awaited rebuild of Cobargo's CBD won an award for excellence at the Planning Institute Australia (PIA) NSW's awards.
John Walters, chair of Cobargo Community Development Corporation, said the Community Wellbeing & Diversity category was the most contested one and that he did not think Cobargo stood a chance of winning it.
The awards were announced at the Ivy Ballroom in Sydney on Thursday, November 17.
"Our award was presented by Minister for Planning Paul Scully," Mr Walters said.
"As the winner we now go as a finalist to the PIA National Awards."
The PIA is is the peak national body representing town planning and the planning profession in Australia.
The Community Wellbeing & Diversity category recognises initiatives that achieve outstanding social sustainability outcomes.
It focuses on planning for people, namely projects that support the health, wellbeing and diversity of the community and enhance social outcomes.
The award recognises the role of planning in improving community members' access to social infrastructure and celebrates great social planning that assists and supports community cohesion and safety and supports the culture of diversity.
The Cobargo CBD project demonstrated how a thorough understanding of the community's needs, cultural inclusiveness and aspirations of a community is integral to sound planning and desired social outcomes.
Mr Walters said tenders for the builder had been received and evaluated.
"We are on the threshold of awarding the contract to the successful tenderer," he said.
The contract should be awarded by the end of November.
The project will deliver around 31 full-time equivalent job training opportunities for the area's youth, as well as an exciting, revitalised northern gateway into Bega Valley Shire.
The successful tenderer will be required to give preference to suitably qualified and experienced local trades and services sub-contractors.
The process for interested sub-contractors will be advertised after the successful tenderer has been contracted.
"There is still much work ahead but our target date for completion of all the new projects remains the end of June 2025," Mr Walters said.
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