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"MAID" rests in Nerang.

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Steven Ciobo, MP

Press Release

19 February 2004


After almost 120 years, the Maid of Sker has found her final resting place in Nerang, with the help of a local Work for the Dole project.

Federal MP Steven Ciobo will again visit the new site of historic paddle steamer this week to congratulate local jobseekers who helped renovate, restore and relocate the Maid to Bischof Park, Nerang.

Mr Ciobo will represent the Federal Employment Services Minister, Mal Brough, at a graduation ceremony for the Work for the Dole participants this Friday.

He said the Maid of Sker - originally used to transport fresh produce to Coomera, Logan, the Bay Islands and Brisbane before being used as a gravel barge - was built in 1885 and finally donated to the community in 1981.

“The paddle steamer changed people’s lives when it could transport fresh produce in a single day, faster than the four days the journey previously took,” Mr Ciobo said.

“This project has offered young jobseekers the chance to restore a piece of Queensland history,” he said.

“Local jobseekers involved with Work for the Dole have fully restored the Maid of Sker to become a part of an interpretive centre showing Nerang’s history and development.

“It is now showcased for the local community to enjoy at Bischof Park,” he said.

Mr Ciobo said he was excited to support the restoration project’s nomination in the annual Prime Minister’s Work for the Dole Achievement Awards, which recognise activities that have made a significant contribution to the community while also developing jobseekers’ employment skills.

Since Work for the Dole began seven years ago it has helped around 11,000 Gold Coast jobseekers and delivered 730 projects benefiting our local area.

…/ENDS Media contact: Marianne McCabe (02) 6277 2330 or 0409 598 102