IT'S been a long-time dream for the people of Lightning Ridge, but the Australian Opal Centre has now been given the go-ahead.
A gathering at the proposed site welcomed the announcement by Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, that the federal government was committing $9.5 million to the project's construction.
"I am thrilled to share the news that $9.5 million has been committed to the first stage of the Australian Opal Centre in Lightning Ridge, under Round 3 of the Federal Government's Building Better Regions Fund," Mr Coulton said.
The project is also being backed by the NSW government with $7.5 million while Walgett Shire Council has committed $2 million and $1 million will come from community and industry.
Walgett Shire Council Mayor, Manuel Martinez, said Council had supported the Opal Centre project since its early stages.
The sentiments were shared by Australian Opal Centre President, David Lane OAM, who said the project will be a game-changer.